White Paper
Monetizing Energy Assets in the Commercial Real Estate Industry

There are nearly 16 billion square feet of commercial real estate properties in the United States. Combined, these properties consume more than 17% of all commercial building energy in the country and spend more than $32 billion annually on energy.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, commercial buildings account for 18.7 percent of energy usage, 40 percent of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, and 88 percent of potable water consumption in the United States.2

For the past several years, the economic and policy climate of North America has created an impetus for green and energy-efficient buildings. The commercial real estate (CRE) industry has contributed this momentum.

What’s in this article:

This article explains how a commercial real estate organization can monetize their existing energy assets with demand-side energy management.

In the sections that follow we’re going to examine the challenges the CRE industry faces concerning energy management and identify and analyze potential assets many organizations in the industry already have that can be monetized.

We’re also going define what demand-side energy management is and the many types of programs and practices that comprise it. In this explanation, we’ll take a close look at the evolving energy industry in the US and Canada with an emphasis on the growth of DERs and the role they play and will continue to play in the nation’s fuel mix of today and tomorrow.

We’re then going to outline a complete demand-side energy management plan for a fictitious commercial real estate organization with more the 50 million square feet of floor space spread throughout the US. Included in this plan will be a sample curtailment plan the organization uses at one of their facilities to participate in a grid-sponsored demand response program, which pays organizations for using less energy when the grid is stressed or electricity prices are high.

Lastly, we’re going to recommend how your commercial real estate organization can get started with demand-side energy management, including how to go about selecting the right company to facilitate your participation and monetize your organization’s existing energy assets.