Energy Efficiency in Commercial Buildings

Investing in Seattle

Energy Usage

Across America, buildings consume more energy than any other source. In many cases, energy consumption is the determining factor of financial performance of a building. But, according to a McKinsey &Co. Report, the Large Commercial Building Sector can cost-effectively reduce its energy use by 28%. Energy-efficient buildings create significantly greater net income for owners because they are more cost efficient for tenants and have a greater marketing advantage.

A recent analysis by the Institute for Market Transformation in Washington, D.C. and the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst found that savings in energy costs for building owners, consumers, and businesses could reach more than $18 billion by 2020. The analysis also predicted more than $7.8 billion in private investment in energy efficiency programs and technology through 2020, yielding $3 to $4 in cost savings for every dollar invested. New buildings will be a small part of these savings since 90% of the buildings operating in 2020 are already built.

Energy Efficiency in Seattle Seattle has a global reputation for being a great place to live, work and do business. Beautiful surroundings, job opportunities, low utility rates and an educated workforce all contribute to this reputation. Investing in the energy efficiency of our buildings is a cost effective way to enhance this reputation. It will help make our businesses more competitive, keep our utility rates low, provide job opportunities in the construction and technical energy management fields, protect our pristine environment and position us as a leader in developing the clean economies of the future. Recently, the Washington Athletic Club (WAC) finished a comprehensive energy efficiency project which resulted in a 25 percent reduction in total energy use, saving about $222,000 a year on utility costs. The WAC used $1 million in low-interest third party financing to fund upgrades to its 40-year-old HVAC system, replace a 20-year-old control system, install more efficient kitchen hood fans and wrap steam pipes. An energy service agreement runs over a four year period with payments on their monthly utility bill, and after that, all future savings will directly benefit the WAC.

“It seems foolish to pass the opportunity up”

—Dennis Williams, Building Operations Manager,

Washington Athletic Club

Benefits to Your Organization

  • Saving up to 40% on your utilities from day 1
  • Improved tenant experience, attraction and retention – increased comfort, better lighting, and the prestige of working in a high performance building
  • Mitigate risks of increased utility rates
  • Lower operating & maintenance expenses
  • Increase the market value of your property
  • Develop a reputation for corporate citizenship and leadership in the community

How can it work for my organization?

Improving the energy efficiency of your building(s) can be confusing and fraught with risk. Now improving the energy efficiency of your buildings easier than ever.

  • An Energy Services Company (ESCO) can put the entire program together for you. Outsourcing energy management to the experts can enhance your bottom line.
  • Rebates and Incentives to promote a clean environment, reduce carbon emissions, stabilize our electric rates and promote economic develop are available through utility, government and private programs.
  • Financing is available to spread the cost over time in order to align with the energy savings. And, with available third party financing there’s no out of pocket expense to your organization.
  • Energy Service Agreements can bring all of these elements together in a risk-free package that insures energy savings and moves the project costs to operating rather than capital expenses.

Getting Started?

  • Join the Seattle 2030 District, an interdisciplinary public-private collaborative creating a groundbreaking, high-performance building district in downtown Seattle. The Seattle 2030 District develops realistic, measurable, and innovative strategies to assist district property owners, managers, and tenants in meeting aggressive goals that reduce environmental impacts of facility construction and operations. To get assistance from the Seattle 2030 District or to become a member, visit here or contact Brian Geller, Executive Director, at (206) 877-2400, or email
  • Seattle City Light and Puget Sound Energy offer technical support and incentives for commercial buildings.
  • Building Operator Certification (BOC), The Northwest Energy Efficiency Council (NEEC) is a non-profit tradeassociation of the energy efficiency industry. NEEC administers the national BOC® program through a network of licensed providers who train building technicians in BOC best practices. Visit for more information.
  • Energy Benchmarking and Reporting – The Energy Benchmarking and Reporting Ordinance requires non-residential and multifamily building owners in Seattle to conduct annual energy performance tracking through the EPA’s Portfolio Manager, a free and secure online tool. The Energy Benchmarking and Reporting Program of the Office of Sustainability and Environment, City of Seattle offers compliance assistance,, 206-727-8484.

For here more information. Click here to see the video "No Brainer - Why Energy Efficiency Is Good For All Of Seattle"