Rocky Mountain Institute Studies Energy Retrofits Across Real Estate Portfolios

Since last spring, AT&T and The Exchange have been participating in the Rocky Mountain Institute’s Portfolio Energy RetroFit Challenge to study how big companies can apply energy efficiency retrofits across their entire building portfolios, at scale.

The companies pay $50,000 to participate in the project, and RMI matches that investment with another $50,000.

It’s a research product,” said Elaine Gallagher Adams, RMI senior buildings consultant. “We’re buying our way into access data. We’re trying to solve problems instead of coming up with hypotheticals.”

So far, only AT&T and The Exchange have snagged two of the six available research slots being offered by RMI.

The Exchange runs big box stores on Army and Air Force bases. Adams said its energy efficiency lessons will be applicable to other big box stores.

RMI wants to understand why energy efficiency measures aren’t applied across a company’s entire real estate portfolio as a whole. Companies tend to tackle retrofits one building at a time, Adams said.

AT&T’s real estate portfolio counts more than 65,000 facilities in more than 60 countries. Beginning with a high-level, portfolio-wide analysis, the RMI and AT&T teams will determine how efficiency investments can make the greatest impact. The product of that analysis will be a long-term capital and construction schedule for deploying extensive retrofits and other efficiency measures across a portfolio.

The Portfolio Energy RetroFit Challenge is still gathering and organizing data. Retroficiency has been hired to help with the energy efficiency modeling.

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