Once again, Yardi is leveraging its trusted brand and leadership in the real estate software industry for an exciting initiative to improve our shared environment. Yardi’s goal is to help reduce energy use in commercial, residential, and mixed-use properties over a period of several years through education and technology. Yardi has enlisted the help of several prominent organizations, including IREM, to develop education and programs for thousands of members on the front lines of real estate management and operations.
Yardi recently renewed IREM’s Yardi Energy Efficiency Grant for 2017. Now in its third year, the grant has allowed IREM to develop the IREM Certified Sustainable Property certification, the IREM Energy Efficiency Survey, as well as a subsequent report titled “Building Performance That Pays: Insights from the First IREM Energy Efficiency Survey,” a series of online courses on energy management, and a live workshop on accessing and using energy data. IREM has also used the grant to increase its capacity to deliver webinars, articles, conference sessions, and other educational content related to sustainability and resource efficiency.
Building energy efficiency practices have made significant gains in the past decade, especially among office properties in major markets. However, smaller markets and other property types lag behind, particularly assets managed by local or regional companies without the internal resources of the large, national real estate services firms.
A knowledge gap seems to be a big reason for the inability to pursue energy efficiency and its cash flow and marketing benefits in these lagging areas. The IREM Energy Efficiency Survey, made possible by the Yardi Energy Efficiency Grant, found that companies that do not conduct energy management activities cited “lack of staff expertise/training” as the biggest impediment to those practices.
IREM’s educational activities funded by the Yardi Energy Efficiency Grant, such as online courses and live workshops, are helping to fill that knowledge gap and equip property managers and their teams with the skills necessary to pursue energy efficiency. The IREM Certified Sustainable Property certification also serves this purpose. The program includes a set of tools, templates, and resources that permit property teams to initiate sustainability programs from scratch, if necessary, and expand existing programs. The IREM Energy Efficiency Survey informs our activities and provides data against which companies can compare their energy efficiency practices.
Properties that have already achieved energy efficiency gains can use IREM resources and programs to capture further benefits and expand beyond energy efficiency into other areas of sustainability. For example, IREM’s three-course series, developed in conjunction with Rocky Mountain Institute (a thought leader in energy efficiency since the 1980s), focuses on deep retrofits—large-scale projects that result in high levels of broad-based sustainability. These courses allow real estate professionals to analyze the deep retrofit opportunity, calculate the potential financial benefits, and make the business case for these projects. Even in Class A office properties, there are many ways to substantially reduce energy consumption and improve sustainability, and these courses can make these gains accessible for everyone.
IREM sees the Yardi Energy Efficiency Grant as a welcome challenge in developing programs that result in more environmentally and financially sustainable properties. We have met the challenge by working with our members and chapters to target different levels of expertise, property types, and market dynamics. We thank Yardi for this opportunity and look forward to building upon our success.
Visit the following pages to access IREM energy efficiency education, the IREM Certified Sustainable Property program and Yardi energy efficiency solutions and services