Virtual Energy Audit Goes Beyond Low-Hanging Fruit

If the Empire State Building can save $4.4 million in energy costs on an annual basis via energy efficiency retrofitting, surely there’s some cash to be saved with other large commercial buildings? Liberty Property Trust has followed the Empire State’s lead on this front by taking measures to improve energy efficiency across 110 of its buildings across its nationwide portfolio. But the real estate investment trust wanted to be sure they’d left no green stone unturned, and recently contracted with Retroficiency to see if there was anything they’d missed.

Unlike an on-site, multi-step energy audit, this analysis was performed in the course of a single day, based on just a year’s worth of electric energy interval data and an address for each building. You’d think that this remote approach couldn’t produce detailed energy use data, much less identify and prioritize specific opportunities to save on utility bills. But Retroficiency reports that its Virtual Energy Assessment (VEA) solution, coupled with its on-demand Building Efficiency Intelligence (BEI) platform, did indeed identify opportunities on potential operational and capital retrofit improvements, to the tune of more than $2 million in energy savings.

New York skyline

image via Shutterstock

Liberty Property Trust owns a number of LEED-certified buildings across the country, and its systematic efforts to cut energy use in its buildings have already earned the trust recognition as a 2012 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year. But as buildings get tuned up, according to the company, additional opportunities to save energy become harder to identify.

“Our teams have worked very hard to make our buildings more efficient and we have seen tremendous savings,” said Marla Thalheimer, director of sustainability, Liberty Property Trust, in a statement. “However once the ‘low hanging fruit’ is accomplished it becomes much harder to assess the needs of a large portfolio and prioritize conservation measures.” She goes on to note that Retroficiency quickly and cost-effectively ranked Liberty’s large portfolio according to true savings potential, arming the trust with valuable information to focus their resources in the most effective way.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.

1 Comment

  • Reply September 24, 2012

    Sid Abma

    Are most large NY buildings heated with natural gas? Are there chimney’s poking out of the roofs of these buildings, and is there a lot of HOT exhaust being blown out of these chimney’s? Why not apply the technology of Condensing Flue Gas Heat Recovery to recover the heat energy from the exhaust gases, so it can be used inside the building. Global Warming?
    Natural gas can be consumed so efficiently that the WATER can be recovered from the COOLED combusted exhaust gases. Water Conservation?
    Increased energy efficiency = Reduced CO2 Emissions.

    What natural gas is not wasted today will be there to be used another day.

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