Utility Bill and Other Savings
If a building owner is responsible for paying some or all building utilities, they will see a reduction in utility costs because of their efforts to improve energy efficiency and embrace clean energy. If the utilities costs are passed on to tenants, the utilities savings will be passed on to them. Either way, a building owner benefits from reduced utility bill costs, whether they are paying less for utilities month after month or retaining tenants in part because of low utility costs. Additional savings gained from energy efficiency and clean energy investments may include janitorial and maintenance savings.
Upgrade/Maintenance Planning and Guidance
Benchmarking and BPS require building owners to understand their building portfolio and its operations, strengths, and weaknesses. This knowledge, coupled with BPS requirements, provides building owners a framework to plan envelope and equipment upgrades proactively and flexibly.
Branding For Climate- and Health-Conscious Tenants
Tenants can be attracted and/or retained by seeing their values reflected in their workplace and/or their business’s building. Communicating about—or even celebrating—a building’s energy efficiency and emissions targets transparently may earn a building and its owner respect and investment from current and prospective tenants. (For more about benefits and occupants, see Social and Cultural Benefits section.)
Market Signals, Adoption and Affoirdability
The increasing adoption of BPS and potentially expensive building decarbonization technologies may seem burdensome to owners. However, with growing demand for these technologies and further normalization of BPS and other decarbonization measures, the market will adapt—and re-adapt—to make these technologies more available, accessible, and affordable.
Tenant comfort and Employee Productivity
Building and business owners indirectly benefit from healthier, less harmful built environments, which make for happier, more comfortable tenants and more productive employees. (Read more about occupant health in Environmental and health benefits section below.)
Reduced Energy Consumption
Reducing energy consumption when it is generated by fossil and other nonrenewable fuels avoids depleting the Earth of its limited resources, as well as the intensive processes that are required to extract, process, and transport those resources. Additionally, reducing energy consumption will alleviate some of the burden placed on the electric grid, as well as demand to build out oversized grid infrastructure in the future.
The transition to clean energy sources—most of which are renewable—improves planetary health as well as human health. Clean energy avoids the use of toxic fossil fuels and the resultant pollutants, keeping health threats out of bodies and out of the atmosphere. For example, the replacement of gas stoves with stoves that use electricity or induction would limit harm to human and planetary health. Additionally, installing, maintaining, and upgrading systems that use clean energy instead of fossil fuels is generally safer for all parties.
Minimizing GHG emissions benefits everybody. Slowing emissions will slow the impacts of the climate crisis, maintaining—or, eventually, regenerating—natural systems and livability for all beings on the planet.
Safer and Healthier Building Systems
Increased energy efficiency and clean energy use contribute to better indoor air quality (IAQ) and healthier buildings overall, in which tenants directly benefit from spending time. High-performing buildings can reduce moisture and temperature fluctuations, and the potential associated health issues these may cause in an indoor environment.
Expanded equitable career opportunities
The implementation of existing BPS and the development of many more BPS in the future will require a skilled workforce that is able to understand and retrofit buildings holistically. Because much of this workforce is yet to be developed, there is an immediate opportunity to make the building industry more diverse and inclusive through intentional recruitment, training, support, and program design
Improved occupant comfort
High-performance buildings require sufficient insulation and airtight exterior envelopes, making them unlikely to experience extreme temperature shifts due to exterior conditions. This consistency allows occupants agency and predictable conditions when it comes to their own comfort.
When buildings become more energy-efficient, they need to consume less energy to operate. This means that high-performance buildings may offer relief of energy burden for low- and moderate-income occupants, by lowering their energy use and therefore lowering their energy costs. Those who contribute the least to the climate crisis are often impacted the most and to act accordingly. It is important to remember this and account for equity and climate justice while addressing one’s own climate impacts.