We’d like to welcome you to our newly redesigned website. We’ve been hard at work on the new site and hope that your find your experience with it both user friendly and enjoyable.
Our goal with the redesign of our website was to make the information that we give to you easier to find and more timely. If you have any questions or comments about the site in general, or anything in particular, please let us know.
The following was a very interesting article that ran on the National Real Estate Investor website. The article goes in depth at how some investors are finally seeing the light and beginning to focus on amassing “green” portfolios. With the pressure to go “green” facing a broad range of companies and business owners, the question is how soon and how fast will the wave take shape?
Sustainable buildings result in lower operating costs, not to mention long-term savings as the cost of energy continues to rise. Many real estate scions are building green—think of the Durst Organization’s Bank of America Tower in New York City and One World Trade Center, which is being co-developed by Durst and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey—as well as retrofitting green—most famously, Malkin Properties’ newly refurbished Empire State Building.
So it isn’t surprising that some investors and real estate firms are starting to focus on amassing green portfolios. But when will sustainability become as standard a criterion as location and quality in U.S. investors’ acquisitions? According to many within the industry, thanks to a growing awareness of green as well as several benchmarking programs, that day is almost here.
Many public pension funds and some private pension funds are interested in being environmentally responsible, says Real Capital Analytics Managing Director Dan Fasulo. But “the only real green buildings are brand new buildings built to the U.S. Green Buildings Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. While these buildings are becoming more common, especially in the major markets, it’s still very uncommon for them to be up for sale.”
For example, Fasulo says, New York’s Bank of America Tower is owned as a 50/50 joint venture between Bank of America and the Durst Organization. “It’s unlikely to come on the market for sale anytime soon,” he says. “The macro is, even if you raised money to buy green buildings, there’s nothing to buy—yet.”
But there are pressures to go green everywhere, which will increase the stock of sustainable buildings.
Utilities are pumping millions of dollars into efforts to transform Phoenix-area buildings into energy-efficient structures in a move that could save both the owners and the utilities money in the long term.
Arizona Public Service Co. and Salt River Project combined are investing more than $135 million to encourage businesses and homeowners to adopt energy-saving measures ranging from changing out light bulbs to upgrading air conditioning and heating units. That amount has grown over the years as the utilities either have been mandated to save energy or have seen it as a way to save on infrastructure.
“I think we are very encouraged by what we’ve been seeing,” said Tom Hines, APS’ energy-efficiency program manager.
For businesses, which are prime recipients of program funds, the benefits are that incentives encourage companies to remodel, shorten payback times and allow for more work to be done quicker. Ultimately, it’s about saving money.
“It became of great interest to us, so we started changing the way we were doing things,” said Craig Robb, managing director of Zions Energy Link, a subsidiary of Zions Bancorp. and National Bank of Arizona in Phoenix.
The incentive programs cover everything related to energy use. SRP, for example, has used money to help local stores offset the costs of compact fluorescent light bulbs. It’s a move similar to what APS has done.
The commercial sector, however, has been leading the pack in terms of adoption, said Debbie Kimberly, director of customer programs and marketing for SRP.
“In our last fiscal year, we had just over 200 participants in the Small Business Solutions lighting program. We expected close to 400 this year, but have had nearly 1,200 — triple our expected response,” she said. “We reallocated $500,000 in rebates midyear to ensure the program would stay open and continue meeting this vital need for our customers.”
As his peers would tell you, Marty Silverman’s success with his company, Energy Savings Group (ESG), is a result of dedicated marketing, networking and referrals from satisfied customers. He will tell you, however, that he credits ESG’s success to some additional factors as well.
“With the current economy, everyone is looking to reduce their energy costs. Customer are becoming more educated about energy efficiency and interested in making changes,” he says. This customer interest has been a “win win” for everyone, according to Marty. “SRP reduces the impact on their grid, the customer realizes energy savings and of course, our business grows.”
“Marty has been a huge contributor to the success and growth of the SRP Business Solutions Program,” said Bob Ferraro, Trade Ally Sales and Outreach Manager for Nexant, SRP’s Program Administrator. “The sheer volume of projects he submits for incentives is all the more impressive when you learn he is essentially a one-man sales team. He is a great example of how hard work, dedication, and great customer service can catapult you into becoming the best in class in any industry.”
Thanks to Marty’s tireless sales efforts, ESG recently won an “Outstanding Contributor” award at the 2012 SRP EEA Conference. “It takes a lot of hard work to build up a client base, but it can be done,” says Marty.
He encourages other EEA Alliance members to take advantage of the many alliance benefits – such as the training programs and program support – in order to grow their business as well. “The SRP Business Solutions Program incentives can be a great tool in your overall marketing kit.”
SRP’s fiscal year for 2012 ended with Energy Savings Group receiving an “Outstanding Contributor” award for coming in 3rd place in their Energy Efficiency Alliance program.
The SRP Standard Business Solutions program provides rebates for replacing common energy-efficient equipment found in commercial and industrial settings.
Bob Ferraro, Outreach Manager for SRP Business Solutions, thanked the program partners. “We could not have done this without the help, support, and assistance from all of you. A heartfelt thanks and hoping we can continue into the new year.”
He also offered some personal thoughts directly to ESG. “Your continuous support of the SRP rebate program has been nothing short of phenomenal. Additionally, your stellar performance and business model is an inspiration to many other contractors to show what is possible when you have the right model, skills, and execution.”
Energy Savings Group is an Approved SRP Alliance Contractor and is primed to continue its growth into 2013 and beyond.