About

Why are we writing this blog?

Building energy efficiency offers the potential for very high returns to building owners and investors. There are many reasons why the real estate industry is interested in building energy efficiency:

– Net operating income (NOI) improvements via cashflow increases or expense reductions

– Increased asset branding and improved tenant uptake and occupancy rates

– Tenant health and productivity benefits

- Environmental benefits

In spite of the many benefits of building energy efficiency, related solutions and technology have not been applied extensively to most privately-owned buildings.

We believe that unless dynamic market solutions are developed to incorporate efficiency measures into existing and new buildings, building energy efficiency will not be applied at scale. This is particularly true in the category of privately-owned buildings in the United States market.

Through this blog, we will explore many of the barriers currently preventing the wider application of efficiency measures in buildings. These include:

– Split incentives between landlords and tenants;

– Lack of access to capital for projects;

– Limited breadth of financing structures;

– And a conservative real estate culture, among others.

The evidence strongly indicates that capital investment in energy saving technologies and processes produces meaningful long-term financial benefits for both building owners and investors. The potential for strong returns means that the barriers are more a financing problem rather than a structural issue. In other words, if the technology is installed, it will work, but the market lacks the defined mechanisms to source capital for the application of the technology.

This blog will explore the methods that building owners can use to apply energy efficiency to their real estate assets. As part of this, we will profile many of the actors who are working to provide a valuable solution to real estate owners and describe and report on cutting edge efforts to effectively implement building energy efficiency. So if you are a leader in the building energy efficiency industry, we’d love to hear from you and how you’re trying to change the industry and the world. Please email us at FinancingEfficiency [AT] Gmail [DOT] Com.

So who are we?

Jake and Geoff are both finance professionals who see enormous potential in the building energy efficiency space.

Jake has a visceral response to systems that operate inefficiently. He loves buildings, but the current real estate industry frustrates him. A lot. He believes that the application of building energy efficiency will act as one of the single largest drivers of wealth and job creation in his lifetime. He is professionally active in the field of energy efficiency and financing strategies via his current role in the clean tech practice of a leading global investment manager. Prior to his current position, he worked as a strategy consultant supporting Fortune 500 energy and technology clients, authored an in-depth technical study of electric vehicle market potential and existing fleet performance, and worked for an early-stage venture capital firm in London. Jake also spends a majority of his time outside of the office focused on energy efficiency and technology investing, and he is a co-founder of the NYC Clean Energy and Entrepreneurship Network (NYC CLEEN). He lives in New York City.

Geoff’s passion for figuring out how to scale building energy efficiency finance has led him all over the world, from Beijing to Wall Street. He is currently working in syndicated and leveraged finance at a major investment bank in New York City, where he works on large debt raises and acquisition financing for companies in a variety of industries. Previously, he spent a year as a Fulbright Fellow in China, where he authored China Green Buildings, a blog designed to showcase his research on the market barriers to more energy efficient buildings in China. Geoff was a contributing author to Value Beyond Cost Savings: How to Underwrite Sustainable Property through his work at the Green Building Finance Consortium, where he helped create the Sustainable Property Performance Framework for analyzing and mitigating risk in green building investments. Geoff is also a LEED Accredited Professional and the author of several other published thought pieces on next generation financial frameworks for comprehensively evaluating energy efficiency.

3 Responses to About

  1. Exciting to see the blog launched!

    Some other barriers to consider:
    1. perceived complexity (it’s not in the core business expertise of the decision makers).
    2. comparatively small percentage of P&L (particularly if the building houses a business that produces a product).
    3. utility incentives are different in different locales, and they change fairly often…so hard to make decisions.

    Rock on, gents!

    • Thank you!

      We agree with the barriers you’ve listed – all will be addressed in more detail in the future – but what continues to surprise us is that there aren’t more people pursuing solutions to these challenges.

      Many business exist that have solved enormous complexity or help to improve costs on a small but aggregated basis. The technology solutions that exist today are benefitted by the utility incentives, but many appear to have relatively short-term positive paybacks today. Incentives should sweeten the deal, but unlike renewable energy, for example, they aren’t required to make the economic case for efficiency.

      We hope to profile many of the innovators in this space and examine how the solutions side of the equation does – or does not – overcome the barriers inherent in the challenge. Stay tuned for more!

  2. Ray Crowley says:

    Please could you add me to your distribution list.

    Regards,

    Ray

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