The ROI of Property Energy Audits and Retrofitting


A property condition assessment (PCA) can be used to inform rental property owners of when mechanical systems are at the end of their useful life. Return on investment can be improved if such equipment is proactively fixed or replaced.

Energy audits of properties will present owners and operators with numerous sets of data and recommendations, along with payback periods of less than three years. Common energy efficient improvements include lighting retrofits, building controls, building system tune-ups, water fixture replacements and building retro-commissioning.

As is usually the case, a building’s systems becomes increasingly inefficient as the property ages, which can result in higher operating costs and increased tenant complaints. Retro-commissioning can address such issues by optimizing existing building systems. Perhaps the biggest benefit of retrofitting is the fact that, most times, it does not require the replacement of large capital items.

According to, “When building systems stop operating per the design and use intent, it results in inefficiencies, higher operating costs and increased tenant complaints. Retro-commissioning addresses such issues by fine-tuning existing building systems to make them operate optimally through scheduling, sequencing, controls programming and optimizing set points.”

In addition to energy audits, receiving a clean Phase I Environmental Site Assessment allows rental property owners to have an asset that is leasable, saleable and financeable.

Constructing buildings with more efficient systems in place can lead to higher rents and longer leases, but it can also lead to significant savings. A California condominium association, for example, has seen an 80% reduction in energy costs just one month after installing LED lighting.

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