Lack of Data Stalls Green Retrofits
The Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation is funding a database project to help determine the energy and cost savings that are possible from green retrofits in major office buildings. Green retrofits include such things as installing energy efficient boilers, lighting fixtures, and windows.
Currently, it is believed these retrofits save energy and reduce costs. But, according to Gary Hattem, president of the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, “the largest obstacle to making these [retrofit] practices go mainstream is the lack of data.”
The data, Hattem believes, can convince building owners that green and sustainable retrofits are valuable, save money, and worth the investment.
“This problem is found in many industries,” says Cynthia Schultz, COO of Sustainable Dashboard Tools, LLC. “Everyone suspects there are savings, but there are few measurement tools available to prove it.”
Other environmental advocates support Schultz’s comments. “There is almost a universal lack of understanding of energy usage” and the savings that can result when facilities and businesses become greener and more sustainable, according to Peter Falk with the New York Energy Research and Development Authority.
As to securing building and business financing, Kenneth Horn, a building developer in New York City, says that if building or business owners can come “armed with [green and sustainable] data” when seeking financing it would “help them get financing and even increase financing” because banks could see becoming green and sustainable can improve the bottom-line.
The Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation acknowledges that no study like this has ever been undertaken but believes it is long overdue. “The goal is to cut through the noise and the rhetoric,” according to a summary of the project, “and provide a definite link between green and sustainable and savings.”
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