Smart Property Managers That Save Energy Early & Add Value to Their Boards Are Pioneers

By: Associated Renewable

Published: March 4, 2013

That property managers are busy folk is industry knowledge, but here’s something that counts as new information – only a select few are SMART about their jobs.  It begs this question - who are these pioneers and what puts them several notches above the rest? It has nothing to with their skill at negotiating façade or equipment changes with tenants and everything to do with increasing the value to their Boards.

New York City’s property managers and owners find themselves in a situation where their performance is continuously reviewed by the Board and it becomes imperative that they not only keep pace with all the changes occurring in the City’s energy codes affecting their properties but also exceed all targets set by the reviewing committee through observable metrics of their property portfolio.

A Queens, NY-based property manager, a client of Associated Renewable, seems to have taken the cue early enough, placing him in the small faction of proactive property managers. By starting early (in April 2012) the energy audits of 9 buildings managed by his firm, he was able to identify energy cost savings worth $105,760 annually.  For another 5 buildings audited simultaneously, annual savings of $24,579 were identified. The total energy cost savings identified over 10 years on the entire portfolio of 14 buildings amounts to $699,945.

Although the properties were not due for an energy efficiency report filing until 2016 (i.e. Block number ending in 6), early identification of energy-saving measures has allowed them to take advantage of useful grants and incentives that have further slashed their upfront capital costs. As if the proactive cost mitigation strategies weren’t enough to garner the Board’s adulation, the property manager has sought to jump even further ahead of the compliance curve by beginning the retro-commissioning phase of Local Law 87 (energy audits & retro-commissioning). This phase takes care of the implementation of proposed energy conservation measures (ECMs) that are bound to provide high ROI to the Board with relatively short payback periods of 2 to 4 years.

Since energy grants, rebates and incentives are available on a time-constrained schedule, a few adept property managers, such as the one mentioned here, have already completed due diligence on available incentive programs and begun the application process with assistance from Associated Renewable’s dedicated Grants Services team. As a market partner in the Lockheed Martin’s commercial incentives program, Associated Renewable has access to over $100 million in grants and incentives that reduce costs of Level 3 audits by 50%. Additionally, Con Edison’s C&I (commercial and industrial) programs are available to reduce costs of certain upgrades like lighting fixtures, chillers, HVAC systems, boilers and other energy-efficient equipment. Entities like NYSERDA and utilities such as LIPA & National Grid offer performance-based incentives for energy-efficient technologies that can be retrofitted in buildings to reduce energy consumption while improving efficiency, tenant comfort and property value.

However, the real gains to property managers appear when they are able to present these figures to their Boards, exacting praiseworthy respect from superiors who are bound to spread the word in their circles.  In essence, this is how smart property managers distinguish themselves as pioneers in their industry. Are you ready to be part of this group?