CBRE lighting retrofit helps cut energy use 2.4% - Smart Energy Decisions

Commercial, Energy Efficiency  -  July 6, 2016 - By Amy Poszywak

Lighting retrofit helps CBRE Group reduce portfolio's energy use 2.4% in 2015

Exclusive to Smart Energy Decisions 

This story is the sixth in a series of original features exploring the successes of a selection of corporations recognized by the U.S. EPA's Energy Star program for achievements in energy management. Each company we've talked with for this series, made possible through our partnership with Energy Star, has a unique story about their efforts to reduce electric use across their organization. Taken in aggregate, we hope the series provides readers with a useful glimpse into the kinds of strategies being implemented across the commercial and industrial sectors as well as a deeper understanding of vetted, real-life tactics for managing energy consumption. 

With a managed portfoliowide average Energy Star score already near 80, commercial real estate services and investment firm CBRE Group still managed to pare energy use down at the buildings it manages by 2.5% in 2015 compared to 2014.

Helping CBRE to achieve that reduction was the completion of a significant lighting retrofit project at its managed Bank of America Plaza facility in Tampa, Fla., that covers 780,000 square feet. Partnering with SCS Lighting Solutions for the project, CBRE said the retrofit also included the plaza's parking structure lamps, upgrading them to LED technology. 

The result of the upgrades were approximately $45,000 in annual energy savings and a $10,300 reduction in maintenance expenses per year, in addition to increasing the value of the property for its client by $950,000, CBRE recently told Smart Energy Decisions. The return on investment for the retrofit, which was completed in December 2015, is 28 months. 

"The engineering team onsite is always looking to improve energy and water efficiency at the project and they knew that replacing to LED would be a savings, but they just didn’t know how good the payback would be," CBRE director of corporate responsibility Lisa Colicchio said.

Over the past 10 years, CBRE has maintained company policies that advocate sustainable management of the company's assets across its U.S. portfolio, Colicchio said. The company's sustainability standards, she said, are a fundamental component of those policies and identify monitoring and tracking building energy use in Energy Star as the primary standard to which all U.S. management staff members must adhere.

CBRE was recognized by Energy Star for partner of the year in sustained excellence for its 2015 activities, including the Tampa retrofit. Other key energy efficiency accomplishments included CBRE's benchmarking of more than 1,600 buildings representing more than 260 million square feet, with nearly 350 of these properties earning Energy Star certification in 2015.

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