“While Rob’s understanding of green buildings is remarkable - being able to move easily between abstract concepts to technical details – what really impressed me about him was his command of the economic factors associated with green buildings and renewable energy. He worked with me to provide our client with a comprehensive financial analysis of a large rooftop solar PV system. His work was thorough, useful and presented in a manner that was very easy to understand. I’m looking forward to working with Rob again!”
This article explains what building commissioning is, what a building commissioning agent (CxA) is, and why building commissioning is important to green buildings, such as those certified to LEED standards. What is Building Commissioning? Building commissioning is the professional practice of ensuring that buildings are successfully delivered and operate according to the owner’s project requirements […]
Do greener REITs generate more cash flow than their less “sustainable” brethren? A study titled “Decomposing the Value Effects of Sustainable Investment: International Evidence” provides insight into this question. Spoiler alert… The answer is yes and the result is about a 5% increase in property level and corporate level cash flows available for distribution to shareholders. The researchers, […]
Passive house cost estimates vary based on design choices, project square footage and project type. This article examines six estimates of passive house cost and the factors affecting return on investment (ROI). What is Passive House? Passive House is a rigorous, energy efficient design and construction standard for commercial and residential buildings. Buildings designed, constructed and certified to a “passive […]
There are many ways to invest in, and profit from, solar energy. As the prices of solar panels continue to fall, here are five strategies that you can pursue either separately, or together, for even greater profit. Pennies per Watt The U.S. solar industry recorded its biggest year ever in 2016 with record breaking growth across dozens […]
Most homeowners’ policies will cover solar photovoltaic systems if they are installed on the roof of your home. However, you may be subject to lower limits if the solar energy system is a ground mounted system or attached to a separate structure.
Note that you should check with your insurance company to see if the cost of your insurance will increase when the solar panels are installed. This is because the insurance company may consider the replacement cost of your home to have increased with the installation of the panels. Depending on the size of your system, a residential solar panel installation may cost between $25-35,000.
Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) are tradable commodities that represent 1 megawatt-hour of green energy. In states where utilities are required to generate a portion of their electricity from renewable sources, solar system owners can sell their RECs to the utility at a profit.
REC laws and pricing from utilities varies from state to state. For example, in Connecticut, if you own a commercial building you can install solar energy on your roof and enter into an agreement with Eversource, a Connecticut utility, to have them pay you a fixed price for your green energy for 15 years.
One of the best things about RECs is that the building owner gets to use the electricity produced by his solar system, and the utility sends him a check every quarter for producing that same energy.
CPACE is a commercial financing program for energy efficiency projects. Short for “Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy”, it allows investors to get 100% financing for investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy for commercial real estate.
The beauty of CPACE is that it combines significant energy savings with competitive interest rates and long term amortization… This results in building improvement projects that pay for themselves immediately. Indeed, an immediate payback is usually a requirement of a CPACE financing.
The most effective CPACE programs will use a Savings to Investment Ratio (SIR) in their underwriting process. The SIR requirement during underwriting encourages the approval of those projects will save more in monthly energy costs, than they do in principal and interest.
CPACE can be used for energy-related capital expenditures including HVAC, lighting, insulation, boilers, chillers, controls, and building envelope improvements. Solar energy, combined heat and power (CHP), conversions from oil to natural gas and other fuel efficiency measures are also popular in CPACE financings.
The WELL Building Standard is a rating system that focuses on the health and well-being of building occupants. WELL takes into account over 100 factors related to indoor environmental quality and human well-being in seven targeted categories including Air, Water, Nutrition, Light, Fitness, Comfort and Mind.
Scientific and medical research, such as the CogFX study, has shown that spaces designed to WELL standards can improve occupant productivity, cognitive function and creativity.