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  • The Data-Driven Built Environment | Nancy Anderson, Ph.D. | Torchlight Column | the Sallan Foundation
    its lease management systems and in Europe it is driving the scale up to industrialize energy efficiency in its rented spaces In turn DB takes what it learns from its own energy efficiency experience and then applies it to its business investments Herbst answered the conference question what is data worth in two words A lot Ed Bogucz Executive Director of the Syracuse Center of Excellence underlined the goal of matching upstate research and development and manufacturing capabilities with New York City s markets and assets building design construction finance and media His Center provides a 55 000 square foot test bed for all kinds of building energy technologies and applications This is where new energy efficiency applications can be put through their paces and primed for real world applications For example NYC is the best place to tackle the ravenous energy appetite of data centers by developing facilities that run on combined heat and power CHP and go a step further by using server waste heat to power chillers for cooling It s a killer app for New York City with its high priced electricity During the discussion moderated by Greg Hale Senior Financial Policy Specialist at the Natural Resources Defense Council attention turned to defining the core business value of energy efficiency His working postulate was that high quality tenants seek out buildings where they can get the most value and speakers agreed with this As well looking at the value of energy efficiency from the commercial tenant s perspective he sees qualitative values related to workplace conditions Deutsche Bank s Ron Herbst agreed He pointed to the importance of indoor air quality in green buildings as measured in worker satisfaction surveys as well as the energy efficiency of data centers as measured in power densities for the data dependent banking industry Nevertheless the Bank s Chief Financial Officer does not put a monetary value on these building qualities nor fund useful revenue models for building energy efficiency which means energy efficiency project approval rests solely on a platform of energy savings Moderator Greg Hale NRDC directs questions Stephen Hammer MIT has a question as discussion opens up to the floor Hale made the case that tenant demand is important in driving a building s performance His argument relies on work the Natural Resources Defense Council s Center for Market Innovation is doing with a number of large and medium sized commercial tenants to fit out new premises with a set of energy efficiency measures that makes sense for them Critical here is the analysis of projected energy cost savings that would be derived from a menu of fit out performance measures coupled with an estimate of the incremental up front costs of installing those measures Mr Hale also emphasized the importance of staying involved during implementation and occupancy to measure the actual energy performance of the new space NRDC will wind up its project contribution with case studies of the actual energy outcomes in order to lay

    Original URL path: http://www.sallan.org/Torchlight/2012/06/the_datadriven_built_environment.php (2016-02-10)
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  • Measuring Up | Nancy Anderson, Ph.D. | Torchlight Column | the Sallan Foundation
    Change Advisors DBCCA and the Rockefeller Foundation report United States Building Energy Efficiency Retrofits Market Sizing and Financing Models starts with these bold words Upgrading and replacing energy consuming equipment in buildings offers an important capital investment opportunity with the potential for significant economic climate and employment impacts Case studies and various analyses have shown that the energy savings from retrofit projects can offer the potential for strong financial returns However a status quo bias asymmetric information and structural barriers in the real estate industry have traditionally resulted in low levels of demand by home and building owners The DBCCA report seeks to overcome these obstacles and significantly increase energy efficiency retrofits by developing a detailed template of four emerging financing models with particular emphasis on Energy Services Agreements ESAs and three other models Significantly this report relies on assumed energy savings of 30 in buildings constructed before 1980 rather than on data about actual savings achieved by building energy makeovers Based on current energy efficiency literature 30 may be a top end figure rather than a norm at this time Exploring other opportunities in the energy efficiency space the Institute for Market Transformation IMT finds that cities and states trying to leverage building energy performance disclosures to stimulate energy efficiency improvements are also forging the apparatus to create thousands of net new jobs and attract billions in private sector investment that will yield meaningful dollar savings for building owners The nuanced take away message of the Institute s Analysis of Job Creation and Energy Cost Savings From Building Energy Rating and Disclosure Policy study is The policy will motivate energy performance improvements in a greater share of buildings over time The policy will galvanize long term market transformation and become more effective at motivating energy performance improvements as buildings are rated in consecutive years and as disclosure cultivates market based demand and competition for energy efficient buildings However the policy will not motivate energy performance improvements in a sizeable portion of the buildings that it covers The caveat in this final sentence is important because IMT assumes more than 60 of buildings will make no changes as a consequence of rating and disclosure laws This is a consequence of a number of factors including inertia ownership structures information costs hassle costs replacement cycles and split incentives In this context efforts to advance financiers and real estate owners informed energy efficiency decision making through use of impact making metrics make good sense given the premise that energy efficiency is a necessary if not yet universally adopted condition for enhancing the sustainability and market value of a building For example the Greenprint Carbon Index metrics are a way to express building performance that can be used for redefining or modifying current definitions of what is deemed a good class A building At the same time US EPA is exploring how to upgrade its Energy Star Portfolio Manager program and ASHRAE a highly respected professional engineering society has developed its own new

    Original URL path: http://www.sallan.org/Torchlight/2012/04/measuring_up.php (2016-02-10)
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  • Show Us The Application | Nancy Anderson, Ph.D. | Torchlight Column | the Sallan Foundation
    in Lower Manhattan While media reports were short on details of NYCEEC s first deal it was rightly an occasion to celebrate Make no mistake however the challenge of energy makeovers for existing buildings is daunting and it s rooted in paradox Over the past 20 to 30 years every important building component has improved in energy performance From air conditioners to lighting to windows construction crews today have an array of green technologies at their disposal Once they re put together though the finished building performs no better than its predecessors of two or three decades ago The parts have gotten better but not the whole E E Reporter i Let s turn to evidence now rolling in on the cash value of energy efficient buildings showing this paradox can be solved A two part report issued in January 2012 sponsored by the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation and the non profit Living Cities which studied nearly 19 000 affordable apartments in New York City found replacing old equipment and other building retrofits could save hundreds of dollars per unit per year and that adds up to millions in savings in fuel and electricity for the 230 buildings in the sample In a similar vein the Greenprint Foundation a global alliance of real estate owners investors and financial institutions determined that energy related building measures can reduce greenhouse gas emissions In volume 2 of its annual Performance Report based on indexing and benchmarking data submitted by 1 632 commercial retail industrial multi family and hotel properties CO2 emission went down 0 7 in one year This decrease is attributed to reduced energy consumption which also decreased by 0 7 and commitments to using renewable energy These energy efficiency outcomes reflect performance in buildings from 44 countries of the total sample 15 properties were located in New York City 91 in San Francisco and another 74 in Los Angeles Since all the data in the study is self reported Greenprint has commissioned a third party verification that will be made publicly available this year Perhaps due to the international nature of the Greenprint effort the report contains no monetary data or analysis of implementation costs energy savings or funding sources for participating properties Still taken together Deutsche Bank s and Greenprint s accumulated evidence and analysis on energy efficient building activity makes the prospect of what NYCEEC s 37 5 million fund for energy efficiency makeovers at some of New York City s big old buildings very exciting Another exciting prospect about NYCEEC is that it can fill the vacuum left by the demise of most PACE bond programs to fund residential energy efficiency upgrades NYCEEC can also lead by example in developing smart and workable energy efficiency funding strategies that can inform ease the way and encourage the inflow of private sector funds But without wide dissemination of its programmatic details and application procedures prospects are dimmed Now is the time for NYCEEC to get out detailed program information and

    Original URL path: http://www.sallan.org/Torchlight/2012/02/show_us_the_application_1.php (2016-02-10)
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  • A Whole Lotta Learning Going On | Nancy Anderson, Ph.D. | Torchlight Column | the Sallan Foundation
    Star Portfolio Manager software i By using a scale of 1 100 Portfolio Manager allows the comparison of energy performance in similar kinds of buildings According to the report The City uses benchmark scores and other data to prioritize energy audits retrofits improved operations and maintenance and retro commissioning activities Take libraries There are 108 libraries in the New York Public Library system which together consume 2 of the City s overall energy use But when it comes to comparing this system with libraries around the US these 108 really shine with an energy use index that s 22 better than the national average Only the City s outpatient health care facilities do better At the other end of the scale New York s places of public assembly and food sales rank nearly 80 worse than their counterparts elsewhere And when it comes to the biggest energy users Gotham s fourteen sewage treatment plants nothing at all can be said because Portfolio Manager can t be used to calculate energy use in these industrial facilities A complete priority list for energy audits retrofits operational improvements and retro commissioning has not yet been established but to date the City has planned or has completed several individual projects ii Let s stand back from the details to consider the bigger Benchmarking picture The City s Benchmarking Law part of its Greener Greater Building Plan offers the opportunity to collect and organize data that is useful for taking action and changing behavior when it comes to making energy related decisions about real estate an urban asset that can never move offshore What kinds of decisions Things like where you would prefer to live or work rent or buy Other things like determining the value of greener building renovations or training building operators to maximize the energy efficiency of the equipment on hand And I predict decisions by banks and other financial institution about mortgages and loans With comparative building benchmarking data on hand it will be easy to see who s burning money and who s offering a better value Of course New York and other cities that benchmark are just learning the intricacies of how to do it right First efforts can be replete with dirty incomplete or inaccurate data First efforts must grapple with software like the Energy Star Portfolio Manager which never envisioned being mobilized to assess the array of building types and functions typical of big cities or the quirks of local electric metering practices Looking ahead the gold standard of next generation benchmarking software and metrics should be to create models that are predictive but we re not there yet But today s baby steps and challenges are only the beginning and New York City s first annual Benchmarking report is a great place to start Soon Benchmarking reports will include data coming from its larger commercial and then larger residential buildings New York City s Benchmarking law is the latest addition to the great American tradition of

    Original URL path: http://www.sallan.org/Torchlight/2011/12/a_whole_lotta_learning_going_on.php (2016-02-10)
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  • X Marks The Spot | Nancy Anderson, Ph.D. | Torchlight Column | the Sallan Foundation
    attorney Gail Suchman Article X contains the seeds of an implicit policy of favoring repowering projects given a shorter statutory approval time over new projects and thereby acts as a tacit planning tool The Alliance for Clean Energy New York sees benefits for clean energy projects like wind farms because the law removes unnecessary delays and uncertainty that prevent developers from making clean power investments Natural Resource Defense Counsel attorney Donna de Costanzo notes Article X will be good for wind power although it does not relieve the state s obligations to meet its overall renewable energy portfolio targets Finally while solar projects are less direct beneficiaries of Article X since few of them are projected to meet the twenty five megawatt permitting threshold neither wind nor solar projects would add to any local baseline air pollution and thereby add to cumulative air pollution numbers Nevertheless since New York is a state where power plant projects are proposed and developed by competing private firms rather than by monopoly style utilities where capacity decisions are closely coordinated with the Public Service Commission what the near future holds for new conventional or renewably powered plants will likely be determined by their access to financing and the fate of Indian Point What does Indian Point have to do with the passage of a permanent Article X Despite decades of opposition to a nuclear power plant that operates 35 miles north of mid town Manhattan and a vow by Governor Cuomo to shut it down the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission NRC holds almost all the licensing cards and the plant provides approximately 25 of the electricity for New York City and Westchester Although Indian Point is nearly forty years old its owner and operator Entergy has applied to the NRC for renewed operating permits that will allow it to run for another twenty years NRC decisions for each of the two generators at Indian Point will come by 2015 As such any chance to permanently pull the plug on Indian Point will require significant planning starting now If during the next few years there are credible signs that New York will be getting new non nuclear projects underway facilitated by the path created by Article X it is conceivable that a deal could be struck for issuing short term operating licenses instead of the customary twenty year operating permits for Indian Point Taking a broader look at New York s energy future it s worth asking what else needs to be done Another bill included in the Power New York Act of 2011 will make it easier to pay for home and business energy efficiency upgrades by creating a loan repayment mechanism to appear on customer utility bills As reported in the New York Times Dave Palmer executive director of the Center for Working Families an advocacy group that helped devise the program said This is a simple and creative solution to intertwined problems of climate change joblessness and economic stagnation Passage of this

    Original URL path: http://www.sallan.org/Torchlight/2011/06/x_marks_the_spot_1.php (2016-02-10)
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  • Reimagining The Middle Distance | Nancy Anderson, Ph.D. | Torchlight Column | the Sallan Foundation
    established or codified by passage of a local law The number of high performance buildings hovered at the poster child level Projects were seen as exotic and expensive erected and occupied by a coterie of committed greenies With the economy booming and spiraling energy consumption habits undisturbed except for the occasional electric system blackout the need to do something about ever rising operating expenses peak load management of the power grid or paying some day for more capacity did not keep planners or the public awake at night In so far as these issues were part of the public agenda or part of market decisions high hopes were pinned to federal and international action on climate change That was then The world of 2010 2011 the time of Reimagining the Metropolis was unforeseen in 2005 and different indeed PlaNYC of 2007 with its emphasis on integrated systemic urban planning and its commitment to cutting the City s carbon footprint 30 by 2030 was evolving into version 2 0 Numerous laws had been enacted to make it a sticky plan than could not be easily ignored or overlooked by future municipal administrations The Greener Greater Building laws of 2009 imposed explicit disclosure and building standard requirements on new and renovated real property During this same period the local and national economies cratered into the Great Recession from which we are still trying to dig our way out and faith in the efficacy of government action has shriveled along with tax receipts Yet PlaNYC 2030 remains celebrated in some quarters if ignored in others In fact with the death of prospects for near term federal climate and energy policy and the international failure to reauthorize the Kyoto climate treaty action at the urban scale has emerged as the most salient sustainability arena

    Original URL path: http://www.sallan.org/Torchlight/2011/05/reimagining_the_middle_distance_1.php (2016-02-10)
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  • Dear Sustainability Officer | Nancy Anderson, Ph.D. | Torchlight Column | the Sallan Foundation
    second year of reporting requirements My rationale for this proposal is rooted in the value of benchmarking as a tool for public awareness and education Given the law s first of its kind status mandatory use of the EPA Portfolio Manager software created for non mandatory benchmarking assessments can create confusion particularly in regard to calculating and reporting on space use attributes in multi family housing Getting this right could entail a steep learning curve for many Since the goal of the benchmarking law is assembling a detailed and comprehensive picture of energy and water use in New York City its achievement will be advanced by a year to learn how to do things right without fear of penalty By the second year of reporting property owners and their in house staff or hired consultants should be expected to fully comply with all reporting requirement and violators should incur stipulated penalties Finally with the data submitted in the 2011 cycle the City will be in possession of a unique real world research opportunity The regulatory language should stipulate that the City shall undertake an in depth analysis of 10 of the total number of submitted Benchmarking Compliance Reports This analysis will assess the accuracy and completeness of these Reports and if appropriate recommend changes to the Portfolio Manager s software or filing instructions for the purpose of optimizing benchmarking data obtained in future filing cycles The City should share this analysis with the EPA and stakeholders and final recommendations ought to be made public six months prior to the 2012 filing deadline Then if any productive City rule changes are identified a rule making process can be completed three months prior to the 2012 Benchmarking Compliance Reports filing deadline Here s the greatest payoff for getting good data as the

    Original URL path: http://www.sallan.org/Torchlight/2011/03/dear_sustainability_officer_1.php (2016-02-10)
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  • Moral Hazard | Nancy Anderson, Ph.D. | Torchlight Column | the Sallan Foundation
    billion will go to the Burke County project The NYAS panel examined how 2 billion in construction financing not guaranteed by the federal government was raised through the sale of bonds In this deal the bond interest rate of 4 5 half that of similar investment vehicles will help maintain the low cost of electricity in that region that s good for utility ratepayers What makes this a great deal for bond buyers Georgia s municipal taxpayers have agreed to guarantee these bonds Sounds spectacular but it is important to remember that local governments unlike the federal government can go bankrupt and in January 2011 Standard Poor s issued a warning about looming downgrades facing part of the municipal bond market Now consider this should there be construction cost overruns and delays in completion of the Burke County facilities a problem that besets even the most experienced nuclear power developers like the French company Areva or problems with selling power at projected levels private bondholders are guaranteed repayment even if local governments in Georgia have to impose new taxes to cover them During the panel presentation the dizzying details for financing these new power plants whose design still awaits approval by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission although China is building four plants of a similar design right now ricocheted in my mind and the words moral hazard hovered into view Financial columnists for the New York Times introduced me to this concept when reporting in 2008 on our great financial system collapse and the ensuing federal bailout Consider this Wikipedia definition Moral hazard occurs when a party insulated from risk behaves differently than it would behave if it were fully exposed to the risk Moral hazard arises because an individual or institution does not take the full consequences and responsibilities of

    Original URL path: http://www.sallan.org/Torchlight/2011/01/moral_hazard_1.php (2016-02-10)
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