EPA’s ENERGY STAR Tenant Space Recognition

To complement its “whole building” rating program, in 2018, the EPA issued its first labels to recognize commercial tenants for high-performance design and construction of leased spaces.

The behavior, space design, and equipment choices of tenants can account for more than 50% of energy consumed in commercial buildings—beyond the owner’s ability to control. Expanding EPA’s ENERGY STAR program to add tenant-based recognition is thus a key objective to achieve better efficiency, lower energy use, and a reduced carbon footprint attributable to U.S. real estate.

Position

The Roundtable strongly supports the ENERGY STAR “Tenant Space” Program. Our advocacy highly influenced Congress to give the EPA authority to create the program. 

EPA should leverage its convening powers to connect real estate owners with key rental market participants—such as public tech and retail companies, restaurants, professional service providers, and government agencies—to encourage greater coverage of the “ENERGY STAR Tenant Space” label in more leased square footage.

Background

“Split incentives” are a barrier to deployment of energy efficiency investments in buildings. Tenants—who are responsible to pay their own utility bills under triple net leases—do not shoulder the owner’s capital investment risk for central system HVAC, windows, roofs, and other whole-building improvements. 

“ENERGY STAR Tenant Space” can help better align owners and lessees around shared energy and climate goals by providing tenants with deserved recognition for the high-performance investments they make in their own leased spaces.

Commercial lessees who receive the “ENERGY STAR Tenant Space” award demonstrate satisfaction of EPA’s five design and construction criteria:

  • (1) estimate energy use in their space;
  • (2) separately meter their energy use
  • (3) share that space-level data with their landlord/building manager;
  • (4) deploy high-efficiency lighting; and
  • (5) inventory equipment in their spaces and use ENERGY STAR-labeled equipment where possible. 

For more information: 

2018 Charter Tenants and list of current ENERGY STAR Tenant Spaces

Portfolio Manager for Tenant Spaces

U.S. Department of Energy Feasibility Study, “Energy Efficiency in Separate Tenant Spaces”

Resources

MORE ISSUES
MORE ISSUES
Clean Energy Tax Incentives
Reporting on Climate Risks
EPA's ENERGY STAR Certification for Buildings
EPA's ENERGY STAR Tenant Space Recognition
Building Performance Standards
Science-Based Targets
“Healthy Buildings”