• By New Jersey Board of Public Utilities’ Clean

Investing in energy efficiency delivers proven returns for NJ’s commercial property owners

Looking for a low-risk capital investment opportunity? Look no further than the potential within your commercial property.

Replacing or upgrading outdated, energy-consuming equipment can deliver proven returns — especially when available incentives are factored in. For businesses in New Jersey, those incentives are provided through New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program.

A study by the Rockefeller Foundation and Deutsche Bank Group estimates that more than $72 billion of profitable energy-efficiency investments remain untapped in U.S. commercial buildings. Advances in lighting technologies, for instance, have brought about fluorescent and LED fixtures that deliver quick paybacks often within two or three years, in addition to brighter and more productive workplaces.

But lighting technologies are often just the tip of the iceberg. Significant opportunities for savings can also be found within heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) equipment. According to the U.S. Energy Information Agency, more than 40 percent of energy consumed in U.S. office buildings supplies HVAC equipment. So even a small reduction in energy use can result in major savings. Variable frequency drives, variable air volume systems, and heat recovery units, for example, are all mature and

proven technologies, offered by established manufacturers.

Panasonic’s new North America headquarters in Newark, NJ, is an example of a company making smart, energy-efficiency investments. The 12-story, $200 million office tower built in 2013 features $918,000 worth of advanced lighting and HVAC measures that have resulted in significant energy savings. Panasonic reduced building energy use to 15 percent below code. This qualified them for $440,459 in incentives through the Pay for Performance program administered by New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program. By utilizing these incentives, Panasonic has been able to reduce the simple payback period for the project from seven to four years.

By investing in technologies such as a heat recovery unit, daylight sensors, and cogeneration chillers that convert waste heat into cooling, Panasonic is saving an estimated $118,900 each year in energy costs alone. These technologies also helped the headquarters receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold and Platinum certifications.

Newly constructed buildings are not the only places where energy efficiency investments make sense. Equipment more than 15 years old has often reached the end of its useful life. Replacing or upgrading aging equipment, introducing occupancy sensors, or making subtle adjustments such as relocating thermostats to more optimal locations, are all examples of profitable measures that the average office building can undertake.

New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program offers incentives for energy upgrades in both existing and newly constructed buildings. Learn how you can add up the returns for your business. Get started on investing in your building or facility by contacting New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program at 866-NJSMART or NJCleanEnergy.com/MARE .

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