Adding an Energy Audit or Energy Benchmarking to a Property Condition Assessment (PCA) can put dollars in your pocket. A PCA gives you an indication of the current and future costs of building maintenance, but you could be missing out on many cost-savings measures.
Energy Benchmarking is a cost-effective first step to understanding and reducing your energy consumption and carbon footprint. Benchmarking studies a building's current energy usage and helps determine achievable and cost-effective energy reduction goals.
An Energy Audit is a comprehensive look at how a building consumes energy along with recommendations to reduce energy use (via no/low cost measures or capital intensive measures), costs to implement, projected cost savings and payback period. While an Energy Audit is a more involved process and can vary in the level of detail (ASHRAE Levels 1, 2 and 3), the potential returns on investment are significant.
A building purchaser would be interested to know, for example, if a lighting system upgrade could result in a 34% internal rate of return. Well, that's just what one of Partner Energy's audits uncovered. A combination of new high-efficiency lighting and motion sensors (at a total cost of approximately $44,000) resulted in an annual energy cost savings of $14,700 and a relatively short payback period (less than 3 years). At an 8% cap rate, the building value increased by $183,000 (over 4 times the installation cost) - certainly a sound investment! And that did not account for potential rent increases, increases in absorption and decreases in vacancy for Green Labeled buildings.
By reducing operating expenses and increasing building value, an Energy Audit and its recommended energy efficiency measures can help building owners and purchasers achieve their energy efficiency and capital investment goals.