Sustainable Energy Efficiency Leads to Cost Savings BY CHARLES KEENAN THE BOTTOM LINE THROUGH ENERGY EFFICIENCY
This year, Liberty Property Trust (NYSE: LRY) is rolling out
an energy monitoring network to 130 of its properties nationwide after a pilot test uncovered wasted kilowatts. In certain
buildings, the network—a series of meters that send usage information back to Liberty’s Malvern, Pa., headquarters—showed
HVAC systems running full speed at night, when they were
actually programmed to be off or on low power. In one property
alone in North Carolina, identifying the waste meant saving 30
cents a square foot per year.
The rollout is just one of the initiatives Liberty has taken to
help make greener its portfolio of 750 buildings. While there’s an
environmental benefit to its work, these efforts offer something
that motivates any company: substantial savings.
Liberty is one of many REITs that have embraced sustainability and green building techniques. Rather than abandon sustainability efforts in the wake of the credit crisis and subsequent
belt tightening, many REITs are embracing energy efficiency as
a way to boost the bottom line. Faced with narrow development
pipelines, REITs are turning to relatively low-cost initiatives that
help boost a building’s energy efficiency and sustainability.
With smaller capital and operating budgets, some efforts are
proving to be well worth it in difficult economic times: REITs are