If you’re in commercial real estate, securing new tenants is only half your battle. Perhaps most important is retaining them. A variety of factors contribute to a tenant’s likelihood to renew their lease. Energy efficiency can help.
In fact, according to the Institute for Market Transformation, high-performance buildings have higher occupancy rates (and higher asset value) compared to comparable but less-efficient buildings.
Often, the first step toward energy efficiency is getting an energy audit to determine the opportunities in your buildings. This could range from finding and correcting HVAC maintenance issues that are wasting energy to identifying the need for new equipment.
Implementing energy efficiency improvements can have a number of benefits your tenants will thank you for:
The first and most obvious result of making efficiency improvements in your buildings is lower energy bills. If your tenants pay their own utilities, this reduces operational costs for them. If you as the building owner pay the utilities, you can pass on your savings to tenants in other ways. Learn more about impacts of efficiency based on your lease structure.
Many utility companies also pay customers incentives for energy-efficient upgrades. This is money that can be used to offset the initial implementation cost of the upgrades or provide funds to make other property improvements.
Whether in a corporate office or a retail space, one of the biggest workplace complaints is uncomfortable temperatures—occupants feeling too hot or too cold. Thermostat wars often ensue.
An energy audit helps identify the things negatively affecting thermal comfort—the combination of temperature, airflow, and humidity—for tenants, such as:
- Aging and inefficient HVAC equipment
- Lack of temperature control zones
- Lack of insulation
- Heat loss or gain through windows
- Inappropriate building control settings
Addressing these issues results in more effective heating and cooling of a building. This means more consistent, controllable temperature and ventilation across a tenant’s space. By making occupants more comfortable day to day, you give them a better overall experience in your building and make them more likely to stay.
Environmental factors play a significant role in one’s ability to focus, be creative, and be productive throughout the day. Upgrades that make your building more efficient also make it a better operating environment for tenants.
Improving air quality, making a space more thermally comfortable, and increasing or improving natural light levels all have a proven ability to boost productivity. Making a building better for a tenant’s business also makes it better for your business.
Do your tenants complain about faulty building equipment? Have your maintenance requests been increasing lately? Fixing the issues with your mechanical and lighting systems can reduce these complaints and requests. This not only saves you time and resources, but it also improves your tenants’ experience and makes them more likely to stick around.