DOE and The Appraisal Foundation Announce New Partnership to Focus on Energy Performance and Building Appraisals

June 13, 2011

As part of the Obama Administration's efforts to improve commercial building efficiency 20% by 2020, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced a partnership with The Appraisal Foundation that will help expand access to energy efficiency and building performance information for commercial buildings and help American businesses to reduce energy waste. Under the new partnership, the Department of Energy and The Appraisal Foundation will work to ensure that appraisers nationwide have the information, practical guidelines, and professional resources they need to evaluate energy performance when conducting commercial building appraisals. This will help enable investors, building owners and operators, and others to accurately assess the value of energy efficiency as part of the building's overall appraisal.

"Providing appraisers with the tools to accurately include energy performance when they place a value on a commercial building will help American businesses and institutions save money by saving energy," said Secretary Chu. "If better performing buildings have a higher value, it will help enable the upfront investment for energy efficiency upgrades."

"This type of public-private partnership is critical to help advance energy efficiency, save companies money and create good paying jobs," said Penny Pritzker, chairman and CEO of Pritzker Realty Group, and a member of the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. "The greener we can make commercial properties, the more we increase their value and the more people we put to work."

Last year, commercial buildings accounted for about 20% of all the energy used in the United States. Through improvements in insulation, lighting and the use of daylight, windows, and heating and cooling systems, America's commercial buildings can be more energy efficient, which saves money for businesses and helps to make them more competitive.

Today's partnership will help to make sure that the market is equipped with the information it needs to make sure that the utility bill savings that come with building efficiency improvements are appropriately factored into the building's overall value. In conjunction with The Appraisal Foundation, DOE will develop information and educational tools relating to valuing green buildings based on the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice—the generally accepted standards for U.S. building appraisers. These tools and resources will help appraisers appropriately include energy performance and sustainability in valuations.

Under the partnership, the Department of Energy will also develop educational materials and create a database to provide appraisers with energy-savings data, federal green building programs and policies, and additional information on energy performance. The full text of the partnership agreement is available.

This partnership is one of the steps the Department is taking as part of the part of President Obama's Better Buildings Initiative announced in February. The goal is to make commercial buildings more efficient, saving American businesses about $40 billion annually. The Initiative will accelerate private sector investment in energy efficiency to create jobs and build a stronger economy. Strategies include challenging CEOs, university presidents, and local governments to make their organizations leaders in saving energy; the Better Buildings Community Upgrade Program which has enabled more than 40 state and local governments to develop replicable business models that encourage innovation and investment in a sustainable energy efficiency industry; and better financing, workforce development, and state and local policies.

For more information go to the Better Buildings website.