Dave Doucette Editorial Director RDCToday.com
An interesting aspect about sustainable buildings:
Several cities around the United States have implemented, or will implement, requirements that commercial buildings of a certain size measure and disclose their energy use. According to a USA Today article, it’s similar to nutritional labels on food, Energy Star ratings on appliances and miles-per-gallon stickers on vehicles.
How will that play out across the retail universe? With the increasing emphasis on energy-efficient retail development – especially reducing lighting and HVAC costs – many retailers would seem to have much to brag about.
All big-brother and big-government arguments aside, retailers that can show reduced energy costs in stores and centers have a great opportunity to pitch their green cred to customers. If a potential customer believes that lower retail energy use translates to lower prices, what’s wrong with that?
According to reports, Washington state moved first on this front, with Seattle leading the way. Similar requirements are in place or soon will be in New York City, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Austin, Texas, and throughout California in the near future.
While this can be useful information for consumers, think of the benefit to retailers that are considering leases in malls, centers and mixed-use buildings. If you know the various locations’ energy use, it’s one more factor to enter into the leasing evaluation process.
The Department of Energy is supposedly considering a test of a voluntary program next year, similar to one just completed for residential homes.
If retailers want to brag about more than paper coffee cups and bans on plastic shopping bags, having low-energy-use outlets offers a great opportunity to promote a company’s environmentally friendly operations.
Dave Doucette is the editorial director for RDCToday.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.