Evidence has shown that owning and operating energy-efficient, high-performance properties is a sound investment strategy that results in multiple financial benefits, including lower utility bills, higher rents, improved occupancy, and greater net operating income (NOI). To overcome difficulties in isolating moderating factors and identifying specific drivers behind sustainability-related improvements in financial performance and value to investors, DOE commissioned this pilot study; designed to test the logistical and empirical procedures required to conduct real estate research and contribute to the existing body of evidence in this field.
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Commercial mortgages currently do not fully account for energy factors in underwriting, valuation and asset management, particularly as it relates to the impact of energy costs on net operating income. As a consequence, energy efficiency is not properly valued and energy risks are not properly assessed and mitigated. Commercial mortgages are a large lever and could be a significant channel for scaling energy efficiency investments.