Energy Department to Host Webinar and Launch New Online Resource to Support Green Leasing for Commercial Buildings

March 20, 2012

The Energy Department today launched the Green Lease Library, an online resource to help the commercial building sector implement "green leases"—rental agreements that encourage energy efficiency. To support the launch, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy will host a webinar on Monday, March 26, to provide guidance and strategies for using green leases and to answer questions from participants. The webinar will be held from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. By unlocking the potential to save energy in more of America's commercial building space, the Green Lease Library supports the Obama Administration's goal to reduce energy use in commercial buildings 20% by 2020 and will help families and business across the country save money.

Leases for commercial buildings specify how energy costs will be divided between building tenants and owners. Many lease agreements put the building owner in charge of paying utility bills regardless of how much energy the tenant uses, allowing the tenant to waste energy without penalty. Conversely, leases that make the tenant responsible for paying the energy bill give the building owner little reason to make energy efficiency upgrades to their properties and don't allow building owners to recoup energy cost savings generated through efficiency improvements.

Green leases, also known as energy-aligned leases, high performance leases, or energy efficient leases, encourage the building owner and tenant to save energy and implement sustainable practices by distributing the benefits and costs of energy efficiency upgrades between building owner and tenant. These leases use modified lease clauses to align the financial interests of building owners and tenants so both have an incentive to save energy and make cost-effective upgrades. This can help both tenants and landlords to save money, conserve resources, extend the lifetime of equipment, and operate more efficiently.

Monday's webinar will highlight optimal strategies to promote energy efficiency through green leasing and educate users on how use the resources in the Green Lease Library. Speakers will include Adam Sledd, from the Institute for Market Transformation, who will introduce the library website and discuss the advantages and challenges of implementing green leases, and Steve Teitelbaum, author of the BOMA Green Lease Guide, who will talk about the components of a green lease, as well as best practices and strategies for negotiating lease clauses with tenants. Speakers from the U.S. General Services Administration will also discuss their agency's efforts to implement green leasing in federal buildings.

Register for the webinar.

The Green Lease Library is the result of collaboration between the Energy Department's Commercial Real Estate Energy Alliance (CREEA) and other organizations, including the U.S. General Services Administration, Rocky Mountain Institute, Natural Resources Defense Council, the Institute for Market Transformation, NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate, and Building Owners and Managers Association International.

CREEA is part of the Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), which accelerates development and facilitates deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and market-based solutions that strengthen U.S. energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality. Learn more about EERE's support of building technologies and about the Department's Commercial Building Initiative.