What the Energy Policy Modernization Act Could Mean for your Portfolio
Recently, the U.S. Senate passed the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015 (EPMA), which promises to make energy more abundant, affordable, and efficient, as well as update the energy grid. On the energy efficiency front, the Act would create and strengthen several programs devoted to improving energy efficiency in buildings, such as state efficiency programs, which directly impact the multifamily industry.
Before you worry about having to navigate more red tape, here are five reasons why the Act could actually enable building owners and managers to implement cost- and energy-saving measures by providing the resources, incentives, and services to do so:
- It encourages collaboration in forming efficiency goals. The latest version of the bill requires that the Department of Energy (DOE) seek input from key stakeholders and go through a rulemaking process before establishing any building energy efficiency targets for local and state building codes. This means you should be able to lend your voice to local leaders to collaboratively shape efficiency standards.
- Efficiency targets are voluntary and cost-effective. The bill requires that residential and commercial building efficiency targets developed by the DOE be both voluntary and cost-effective for owners to participate in. Building efficiency upgrades save money, increase return on investment (ROI), and often cost very little upfront, making efficiency standards attractive to opt into.
- It could increase your ROI and asset value. EPMA includes guidance for financing lenders and appraisers to consider the value of energy efficiency when creating property valuations, so the upgrades you make to your buildings may boost your portfolio’s asset worth and ROI.
- You can receive recognition for efficiency efforts. Provisions of the bill that were passed separately last year as standalone legislation enable residential and commercial buildings to achieve an ENERGY STAR® rating so owners can obtain recognition for implementing high efficiency standards.
- It strengthens energy data. The bill encourages the dissemination of critical building energy data to multifamily owners for benchmarking purposes by including best practices currently used by utilities, which helps takes the guessing work out of the investment in efficiency upgrades. At WegoWise, we know that benchmarking energy and water usage arms owners and managers with an understanding of how their buildings perform compared to similar peers and provides the foundation for improving the efficiency of buildings.
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