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Institute for Market Transformation

Promoting energy efficiency in buildings
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Owners and Tenants

More efficient buildings pay big dividends to the environment and building owners’ and tenants’ bottom lines. However, owners and tenants often face competing needs and priorities, creating a dynamic that stops them both from unlocking the tangible environmental, financial, health, security, and productivity benefits that high-performance buildings deliver.

IMT is breaking through this barrier and improving the relationship between owners and tenants by giving them collaborative and replicable solutions to unlock major savings through smarter leasing language, cost-effective best practices, and innovative technology.

Executing Smarter Leasing Language to Unlock Savings

A green lease, also known as an energy-aligned lease, is a proven tool that breaks the boundaries set by traditional leases, helping owners and tenants align financial and environmental benefits that lower operating costs and open the door to deeper saving on utilities. IMT staff works side-by-side with the real estate community to show people how to best incorporate efficiency into new and existing leases to achieve maximum benefits. Our research estimates that green leases can help reduce utility bills by up to $0.51 per square foot (11-22 percent) in office buildings alone, and if all leased office buildings executed green leases, the U.S. office market could save over $3 billion in annual cost savings.

Want to learn more? Access a curated list of our resources below, visit the more extensive Resource library, and contact one of our experts now.

IMT’s free resources include:

Bringing Cost-Effective and Proven Best Practices to the Market

Over the past 20 years, IMT has collaborated with leaders in the real estate community to not only identify and share best practices for saving energy and resources, but to also help companies and professionals put them into action and get real results. From skyscrapers in Los Angeles to strip malls in Northeast Ohio, our strategic partnerships and initiatives help owners and tenants of buildings both small and large to unlock savings and adopt sustainable operations.

Want to learn more? Access a curated list of our resources below, visit the more extensive Resource library, and contact one of our experts now.

  • Landlord Tenant Energy Partnership
    Achieving a 20 percent reduction in energy use in America’s commercial, retail, industrial, and office buildings would save $5 billion annually. However, lack of awareness and weak demand for energy-efficient spaces is preventing thousands of companies from unlocking this potential. Recognizing this, IMT, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), and the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) launched the Landlord-Tenant Energy Partnership in 2016, a first-of-its-kind coordinated national effort to reduce energy and water use across billions of square feet of leased space.
  • Catalyzing Efficiency: Unlocking Energy Information and Value in Apartment Buildings
    Increasing the energy efficiency of America’s multifamily buildings could save building owners and managers, residents, governments, energy efficiency service providers, and financiers close to $3.4 billion in annual savings. IMT’s report, Catalyzing Efficiency: Unlocking Energy Information and Value in Apartment Buildings, provides concrete recommendations on how owners, managers, residents, lenders, and investors can work with governments and energy efficiency implementers to use benchmarking data to drive greater energy and water savings.
  • Small Business Energy Initiative: Addressing the Efficiency Gap in Small and Medium Buildings
    According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) 2012 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS), 88 percent of commercial buildings are smaller than 25,000 square feet, and account for over 25 percent of all commercial floor space in the country. This large sector has been traditionally difficult to engage on energy efficiency, but for the real estate industry to move forward as a whole, it needs to be addressed.

IMT is working with Northeast Ohio’s Council of Smaller Enterprises (COSE) to improve the small business community’s understanding of sustainability through education, energy audits, green lease resources, and financing options in one bundled program package. Starting in the City of Cleveland, IMT and COSE have expanded our efforts to Traverse City, Michigan and Chapel Hill, North Carolina, working with their respective chambers of commerce to provide members free technical assistance to save energy and resources and put money back into their pockets.

Taking Advantage of Existing Technology

Active operational energy management with today’s technology can save thousands of dollars annually in individual buildings. However, the market for energy management technology is saturated with products, leaving potential adopters in a state of confusion about what to invest in and what product would work best for them. IMT works to further adoption and unlock the energy savings potential EMIS and other energy-saving technologies such as advanced power strips present by providing key insights on what the market needs to better understand the technology and its benefits and how to use it effectively.

Want to learn more? Access a curated list of our resources below, visit the more extensive Resource library, and contact one of our experts now.

  • IMT's report, “Transforming the Market Through Energy Management Information Systems,” analyzes key barriers to energy management information systems (EMIS) adoption, while presenting current national trends and solutions for how commercial real estate professionals, EMIS vendors, utilities, and local government actors can spread the usage of EMIS and with it create lasting change in energy management.

  • Plug and process loads (PPLs) consume about one-third of energy in commercial buildings but are often neglected by property owners seeking to lower utilities, while tenants have the most ability to control this particular energy end use. Good PPL management is a major key to reducing whole-building energy use. IMT’s report, “Increasing Tenant Engagement Through Plug Load Management," presents PPL strategies and their associated energy savings, while also exploring the most cost-effective pathways to implementation.


IMT’s Market Engagement team effectively engages a wide range of private market stakeholders—building owners and tenants, brokers and real estate agents, and lenders and appraisers, among others—to improve building performance and unlock billions of dollars in investment, creating thousands of jobs, improving businesses’ bottom lines across the country, and measurably addressing America’s climate challenge.  Click here to access our work with brokers and real estate agents and click here to access our work with lenders and appraisers.