In the current risk-averse economic climate many businesses leaders and private individuals are not interested in new and innovative products. To help create more confidence for consumers to invest in energy efficiency solutions, the value must be established through a better understanding of energy costs, acknowledgement in real estate prices and overcoming barriers related to building ownership and occupancy. Energy Efficiency Business Coalition supports creating consumer value in energy efficiency solutions through transparency of energy data, energy information during real estate transactions, and addressing the split incentives for leased properties.
Energy bills are confusing and ineffective for consumer knowledge. Costs of energy are most often communicated to consumers monthly, after the energy has been consumed. Sometimes, often in businesses, the energy user is not paying the bill and there is little awareness of realized energy costs. Real time energy consumption data, comparisons across similar building types should be provided to building occupants that are using energy. Additionally energy usage needs to be more accessible in a standard format for energy efficiency professionals to quickly identify energy concerns.
Data collection continues with the Colorado Energy Office initiative. Proper valuation of home energy improvements should be speed up by a collaborative effort to educate real estate agents and providing resources to energy efficiency professionals, while refining the data to be collected to insure accuracy and effectiveness. Additionally, energy consumption data should be included in every financial transaction as this is a specific monthly payment that effects ability to make periodic payments.
Across Colorado, numerous homes and businesses are rented or leased to tenants. In this system, the tenant typically pays for the energy bills, while the building owner maintains the building, including energy using devices. With proper transparency and valuation for energy efficiency measures, both the building occupants and owners will drive demand. But in the near term, building owners should be taught about the benefits of energy efficiency including the expenses of replacing equipment rather than performing preventative maintenance for energy efficiency and system efficacy.