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Beyond the Dollar Sign – Non-Energy Benefits to Energy Efficiency

Written by: Katie Vrabel

In the commercial real estate world, it’s all about the Benjamins. Financial impacts are a primary driver and consideration for making the switch to energy efficient upgrades within a building. Return on investment and payback? Check. Decreased energy and operational expenses? Check. Decreased maintenance costs? Check. Increased tenant satisfaction – what?

There are numerous additional benefits to embracing energy efficiency that can drive to the bottom line but may not be completely apparent or included the calculation of energy efficiency value.

Occupant comfort. Too hot? Too cold? Efficient systems that effectively delivery an ideal climate drives occupant comfort. As an added bonus – it prevents the never-ending rotation of colleagues playing round robin with the thermostat….and having to explain that cranking it up to 80 degrees will not make the air hotter.

Tenant satisfaction. Comfortable tenants are happy tenants, which can lower tenant turnover and decrease costs. Studies have shown that tenant satisfaction can increase by 27% by adopting energy efficiency improvements, which leads to tenants staying longer and accepting higher rents. Another way to prove to your tenants you take their comfort seriously is to go a step further and obtain ENERGYSTAR® or LEED certification for your building which provides a comprehensive framework for occupant satisfaction. This doesn’t just apply to office buildings, multifamily energy improvements also lead to higher tenant satisfaction and retention.

Increased productivity. Want to increase productivity of your workforce? Adopt energy efficiency improvements! From lighting, to ventilation and thermostat control, energy adjustments can lead to big impacts in worker productivity. Too many sick days impacting productivity? A healthy, efficient building leads to improved sleep and a healthier workforce, cutting employee sick days by up to 40%!

Improved aesthetics. As a bonus, efficient buildings not only feel good but look good, too. Green roofs, sunshades, window glazing, sleek low-flow water features, and other measures in an efficient building can boost the appearance, making a facility look fresher and more modern.

By going a step further and incorporating programs and certifications like the Fitwel Certification System, which focus on occupant health and well-being, even greater impacts can be realized when combined with energy efficiency improvements.

If you didn't catch our webinar with the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance last week, reach out to the Waypoint Energy team at for more information.


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