Translating Property Energy and Environmental Performance into Financial Performance

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As investment property owners and managers come to understand the financial and environmental benefits of greening their real estate, many are left asking, "Where do I start, and how much will it cost?" Energy and water cost benchmarking is a smart and inexpensive first step.

We need to understand and analyze a building's past and current performance and uncover the best opportunities to improve upon it.

As the world scrambles to discover and develop new, clean renewable energy sources, often overlooked is the massive potential to reduce energy consumption and waste by investing in energy-efficiency in existing buildings. Economists and energy analysts agree that the United States' economy is likely wasting at least 50% of the energy purchased, delivered and consumed. A surprise to many, US buildings consume nearly 40% of all energy produced, about 75% of all electricity consumed, and are responsible for nearly 50% of GHG emissions. Clearly, our economy cannot afford to continue with this unfortunate trend.

Green Property Funds (GPF) is a green real estate investment and consulting firm that sees major opportunity in helping real estate investors cut energy and water costs.

"GPF has seen growing demand from commercial property owners and tenants for information on how they can upgrade their existing real estate and finance the improvements. Usually, our answer is 'it depends.' We need to understand and analyze a building's past and current performance and uncover the best opportunities to improve upon it," says Craig Immel, Managing Member at GPF. "Often, building owners inquire about required steps toward having their properties certified as 'green.' Energy and water benchmarking is a required, yet low-cost step in earning LEED Building Operations and Maintenance certification, so it is a smart first move toward greening your building or real estate investment portfolio, even if the property owners delay LEED certification."

GPF Solutions, GPF's consulting practice, recently announced new energy and water benchmarking services for commercial properties. GPF Solutions also helps property owners and businesses calculate their buildings' carbon emissions, performs ASHRAE Level I energy audits and provides thermal imaging inspections and analysis. Also, when benchmarked client properties are performing in the top 25% of similar buildings in the region, GPF helps the property promote its energy and environmental performance with assistance from the EPA's ENERGY STAR recognition program. Currently, GPF is working to team with investment property owners and managers in Colorado to demonstrate the financial and environmental benefits of green building retrofits.

"To help get the word out about our new line of services, GPF Solutions is offering special pricing for Colorado hotels, banking facilities, senior housing, medical offices and other portfolio property types through March," Immel, a LEED Accredited Professional, said. "We anticipate strong interest in the Colorado market, where local consumers tend to support local businesses that maintain environmentally responsible facilities. We will make similar opportunities available in our other markets later in the year."

About GPF

Green Property Funds LLC (GPF) offers innovative real estate investment and consulting solutions designed to deliver superior financial and environmental performance. GPF's goal is mobilize private capital to help lead America's transition to an economically, environmentally and socially sustainable built environment. GPF's Green St. Media aims to create the Internet's best resource for green real estate info, video and available properties through websites like Green-Real-Estate.com, which provides online video marketing solutions for local properties with meaningful green credentials.

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Craig Immel
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