04 Jan As residential and commercial property owners continue to make sustainable upgrades in the name of energy savings, builders and sellers should be paying close attention to the trend.

According to a Matternetwork.com article, property owners are making upgrades to spaces built less than 5 years ago. Why? Because they understand how important it is to cut energy consumption. Not in the name of the environment, but the all mighty dollar.

Government resources such as www.energystar.gov are making it easy for owners to evaluate their energy saving numbers. Owners are using these tools to calculate energy waste and determine where necessary upgrades could cut energy costs for a unit.

With the above in mind, I think there are some noticeable effects of the energy efficiency movement. Below are some of the main reasons we should be building/retrofitting and marketing a sustainable product.

  • Energy costs
  • Top 500 corporations are not going to lease buildings that are not green and/or LEEDS certified
  • Studies are showing employees are healthier and are out less when working in sustainable structures
  • I think the public will push for public and commercial buildings to save energy

Can you really afford not to build with a sustainable initiative?

Many developers will ignore sustainable options in order to reduce costs to a project. At this point, doing so may be extremely detrimental to the long-term value of a product.

From a marketer’s point of view, you are putting yourself in a hole from day one. Sustainability, Energy Star, and LEED are increasingly losing their “buzz word” status. These are ideas and certifications that are becoming the standard.

Hypothetically, let’s say you delete the energy saving features. What if your competitors opt for the features? They have a distinct marketing advantage over you.

Those who skimp on the energy saving features will probably set a lower price point for their product and market this point.  This is a mistake for two reasons. For one, you should market the savings from energy efficiency, not the price point. By adding these features, you can breakdown monthly estimated energy costs in dollar signs for potential buyers or renters – point out the money they will save.

Reducing the cost of the rent will lessen the value of your product. Why not increase the vale by investing in energy efficiency? You are spending money that will generate a great ROI. By cutting rental costs, you are losing money that you will never be able to get back.

Sibet B Freides