In recent years, states and energy companies have been offering numerous energy rebate programs to recognize and reward property owners and businesses for reducing energy consumption, increasing energy efficiency and promoting the use of renewable energy sources.
Over the past five years Ashforth has secured approximately $200,000 annually in rebates for many energy-saving, green technology, and sustainable capital improvement upgrades it has identified and implemented for its property management assignments. Projects range from ENERGY STAR-rated LED lighting, HVAC and air filtrations systems upgrades, building system recommissions, low-water landscaping plans with stringent green landscaping specifications, and eco-friendly green cleaning.
“We have been consistently diligent in our efforts to find ways to reduce our costs and improve the environmental quality of our buildings. The positive effects of energy efficiency improvements continue to accrue annually, significantly reducing not only energy and water consumption but also operation and maintenance costs,” explained Heelan.
Building owners and property managers are able to measure and track energy consumption, water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions with the online tool developed by the Environmental Protection Agency named Energy Star Portfolio Manager. If buildings meet a strict energy performance standard it can receive an Energy Star Certification with a score of 75 of better.
In order to increase and achieve Energy Star scores Ashforth has taken advantage of programs from NYSERDA (New York State Energy and Research and Development Authority) and Eversource’s Energy Efficiency Fund and Retro-Commissioning programs that offer financial support to building owners to install energy efficient heating equipment, air conditioning equipment, control systems and lighting.
Ashforth has been successful in obtaining financial incentives and realizing actual saved dollars for many of its properties throughout its portfolio. Recently, in Connecticut, Ashforth secured nearly $160,000 in rebates for new high efficiency water source heat pumps and a new energy management system at one of its owned properties in Stamford. For a third-party client in Westport, Ashforth secured $35,000 incentive dollars provided by Eversource for retrofitting the garages with LED lighting. And, for another third-party owner in Stamford, Ashforth obtained an $8,000 utility rebate from Eversource for a new boiler. At one of its managed buildings In White Plains, NY, Ashforth identified and secured $236,000 incentive dollars through NYSERDA for completing several sustainable upgrades including installing high-efficiency chillers, a new building management system and electric vehicle charging stations.
Overall energy usage for Ashforth’s owned building portfolio has decreased 23% in the past eight years and held steady over the past year despite increased occupancy. “Creating healthier, more environmentally-friendly and cost-effective buildings that will better serve the companies and employees in our buildings is our ultimate goal,” said Heelan.