Once upon a time, if you had an old building it could be as inefficient as you could afford, because regulators were only focused on new construction when it came to energy usage. Those days will soon be over. Some day in the not-too-distant future, almost every building will have to show why it can’t have at least the average energy intensity per square foot of its specific category of structures.
High energy efficiency and low greenhouse gas emission have been regulated at the federal level for a long time, particularly for new construction of commercial properties. As commendable as environmental responsibility may be, the requirements of these regulations and guidelines have created significant costs for commercial property developers and managers, which they in turn must pass on to tenants and customers. And today, a growing number of cities and many states have or are considering a range of regulations that require existing commercial properties as well as newly constructed or renovated buildings to meet certain energy intensity of use standards.
Fortunately, commercial property owners and managers don’t have to face these tightening regulations alone. An innovative energy solutions company called Budderfly offers ways to achieve and document the very high standards of energy efficiency and performance that even the most ambitious policies are going to be demanding.
In many cases, new regulations and requirements are effectively statewide implementations of ASHRAE 90.1 minimum energy efficiency standards and the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). For a building to comply with these codes, lighting, HVAC, and the overall building envelope must meet heightened Energy Efficiency (EE) requirements. Different states adopt to newer or older iterations of these standards, with the newest being the most stringent.
Different by Degrees
As an alternative (or in addition) to simply adopting higher EE standards, many states use performance-based targets. This approach mandates that existing buildings and businesses improve by reducing their energy consumption and/or their greenhouse gas emissions.
In some states, there are multiple tiers of compliance with increasingly rigorous efficiency and environmental requirements. A certain minimum degree is mandatory, but “stretch codes” in these states recognize and reward higher levels of voluntary energy efficiency and sustainability. These tiers of compliance come with public ratings and certifications that allow buildings and organizations to capitalize on their status.
This new wave of regulation is not just a state-level concern. Many states have allowed individual cities and local governments to enact their own standards, including multitier and stretch code requirements. This may mean that requirements affecting a particular facility may change even more often, becoming even more demanding and requiring additional action.
Whatever regulations in each state or locality, all of them require facilities hitting certain benchmarks. Demonstrating compliance means increased data tracking and information sharing about energy use. This in itself can be challenging and expensive for many facilities.
In new buildings, compliance is largely a matter of construction. But for existing commercial properties to achieve increases in EE, equipment like lighting and HVAC units commonly needs to be replaced or retrofitted. Thorough metering must also be implemented, both to monitor and control energy usage and to gather compliance and improvement data.
Sorry, This Problem Will Have to Wait Its Turn
The challenge is not knowing about the new requirements. It’s how to find the capital or squeeze out the time and then the ROI when there are literally tens of other priorities for almost every facility manager these days. Coping with tenant needs in the new post-Covid world, finding operations staff to replace retirees and folks who just don’t show up anymore. Building new amenities to attract the new tenants you really need. Energy efficiency upgrades probably don’t make the short list.
An Effortless Alternative
Fortunately, just as states and local regulators are forcing commercial building energy efficiency, one energy management firm has built its entire business model around creating a no-cost-and-no-expertise-needed energy efficiency outsourcing solution for commercial customers. That company is Budderfly. Using their own money, Budderfly applies a unique form of Energy Efficiency as a Service (EEaaS) to perform upgrading, replacement, and retrofitting of lighting, HVAC, and other energy-intensive systems at no out-of-pocket cost to customers. They then oversee the maintenance and successful operations for up to 10 years to make sure everything keeps working.
This cost-free transformation is achieved by relying solely on the monetization of the elimination of wasted energy to make it work. These saved kWhs means Budderfly can raise and use its own capital to provide, install, and monitor technology that improves EE and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
The company’s services also include continuous IoT-based smart metering at all points of consumption, dramatically reducing energy waste and greenhouse gas emissions and replacing standard utility billing with streamlined, detailed reporting that includes extensive operational data and energy analytics. In addition to the usefulness of this information to the customer’s operations, it greatly simplifies reporting of all metrics and benchmarks that regulations may require.
It’s only natural for such ambitious promises to be met with skepticism. But the firm’s ability to deliver all contracted benefits has made Budderfly the 10th fastest-growing company in U.S., and the second fastest-growing American private energy company in the 2021 Inc. 5000.
No cost, no effort, and it works. It really sounds too good to be true, or almost a scam. Still, the simple fact that saving energy is worth a lot of money means that thousands of commercial facilities currently contract with Budderfly and achieve results that let them comply with regulatory requirements, cut costs, and improve tenant and customer experiences without investing any of their own capital.
Budderfly energy consultants can provide detailed information about potential EEaaS solutions, including proof of success at locations like your own. Getting well ahead of even stringent and aggressively changing state and local sustainability regulations doesn’t need to be expensive or difficult. With Budderfly managing your energy efficiency, it’s effortless.