Creating Energy Efficient Buildings – the Right Way and the Wrong Way

President Obama recently proposed a new campaign to make commercial building space 20 percent more energy efficient by 2020.  The good news is that this is not an unfunded mandate to the industry, but a plan utilizing incentives such as tax credits.

The “Better Buildings Initiative” has a goal of making commercial buildings more energy efficient over the next decade. A new and more effective tax incentive for building owners seeking to upgrade, by rewarding companies for performance improvements, so the credit amount would be based on the actual energy improvements made in a specific building.

This is a more practical means of encouraging energy efficiency retrofits than forcing owners to make marginal returns on large capital investments or by labeling their buildings to highlight their inefficiencies.  Especially during a recessionary period, making these latter policy choices can only hurt a fragile commercial real estate recovery.

NAIOP will be looking forward to further details on this new initiative. In the meantime, we recently submitted comments in opposition to the proposed Energy Asset Labeling Program for Commercial Buildings in Massachusetts and we will continue to urge the Patrick Administration not to move forward with this program.

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