Energy efficiency retrofits in existing commercial buildings help the environment, communities, and building owners and occupants. A robust market for such retrofits would create $12 billion in business annually over the next decade, while producing energy savings of 22 percent, creating 240,000 new jobs, and avoiding 128 million metric tons of CO2 emissions – roughly the annual emissions from 28 coal-fired power plants. For building owners, the benefits include increased net cash flow and a property with greater appeal to tenants seeking green space.
A concept called property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing removes barriers to existing-building retrofits – chiefly difficulty in securing capital for the up-front costs. Twenty-five states in the U.S. now enable PACE financing, and similar models are gaining acceptance in other countries.