WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Better Buildings Initiative has announced a partnership with CoStar Group Inc., a provider of data and intelligence solutions to commercial real estate professionals, to expand the visibility of energy-efficient buildings in U.S. property markets and promote the benefits of energy efficiency to building owners and occupants.

As outlined in a memorandum of understanding, DOE and CoStar Group will jointly support the following initiatives:

• Display building energy efficiency information in CoStar Group’s online property databases.

• Perform new research to evaluate the impact of energy efficiency and sustainability on real estate valuation; building operating income and expenses; tenant health, comfort, and productivity; and other topics.

• Promote Better Buildings and the solutions of market-leading Better Buildings partners.

“Reducing wasted energy in our buildings is one of the quickest and most cost-effective ways to reduce energy bills for Americans, make local communities more affordable, cut harmful pollution, and create new jobs,” said Dr. Kathleen Hogan, DOE deputy assistant secretary for energy efficiency. “DOE’s partnership with CoStar Group will not only improve our understanding of the benefits of energy efficiency for building owners and occupants, but will also result in an historic expansion of the energy efficiency information available to commercial real estate consumers that will drive demand for energy efficiency improvements nationwide.”

CoStar Group will display energy-related information that is already being made publicly accessible by state and local governments that have adopted building energy transparency laws. It plans to begin displaying energy-related information for buildings in Chicago and Washington, District of Columbia, this summer, followed by buildings in other applicable states and localities beginning this fall.

Energy-related information for approximately 60,000 U.S. commercial and multifamily buildings nationwide will become publicly accessible under state or local energy transparency laws over the next few years.

The building energy efficiency information that may be displayed in CoStar Group’s online property databases include the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Energy Star® score, whole-building source energy usage intensity, and annual greenhouse gas emissions, subject to the availability of the information. Additionally, CoStar Group and the EPA will continue to explore options to enable building owners and managers to voluntarily share their energy-related information with CoStar Group’s online property databases.

CoStar Group already identifies and promotes the benefits of more than 15,000 buildings that have achieved Energy Star certification and the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification in its online property databases and marketplaces.

DOE, through its Building Technologies Office (BTO), will contribute technical energy efficiency expertise to support the partnership initiatives. The partnership agreement has an initial term of 24 months.

For more information about the DOE’s Better Buildings Initiative, visit http://betterbuildingssolutioncenter.energy.gov.

Publication date: 6/13/2016

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