8 Reasons Why Property Owners Should Consider Moving Ahead with Building Retrofits
There has never been a better time to consider making any structures on your property more energy efficient. As an energy efficiency consultant, you have the ability to help those owners understand what the advantages of acting now rather than later happen to be.
As you already know, the Business Performance Institute has looked closely at provisions in the new Inflation Reduction Act, and identified what it means in terms of tax breaks and other incentives. Along with sharing what the BPI has outlined, you can talk with your clients about these other reasons to move ahead with any energy retrofits their properties need.
Reduction of Energy Costs
As a professional, you are in a position to point out how retrofits have saved others a lot of money in terms of monthly energy costs. This is not some abstract idea that you can put out there and then back off. Thanks to what you've seen and learned, it's easy to provide facts about what can be reasonably expected.
For example, it's not unusual for building retrofits to involve replacing aging windows that made use of single-pane glass. You can point out how opting to invest in new windows that include double or even triple-pane glass provides more control over the temperature and humidity level inside. That translates into saving a significant amount of cash on every utility bill. Even when other benefits don't seem to motivate property owners, the idea of lower power bills tends to capture their attention.
A More Comfortable Setting
Home and business owners alike want to be comfortable. In the home, that means being able to ensure the temperature is just right. It also means having hot water for a nice shower or bath, sufficient light to read without straining the eyes, and managing household tasks using appliances. Home energy retrofits that update the insulation, windows, electrical systems, and even the plumbing all factor into making the home a more comfortable place to reside.
In a business environment, employers know that keeping employees feeling safe and comfortable helps motivate them to focus on assigned tasks and be productive. It's also one of the ways that employers slow the revolving door and keep their employees longer. That's because people like working in settings where they are comfortable and have what they need to get their work done. A retrofit can go a long way toward providing that environment.
Additional Features on New Equipment
All technology ages, and is eventually replaced by something that's newer, more energy efficient, and happens to provide additional features. While it may not seem like a big deal at times, the reality is that choosing to opt for the newer technology can help save energy and possibly increase overall satisfaction and comfort.
HVAC retrofits are a prime example. Whether a residential or commercial heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system, the fact is that older systems don't come with all the features offered today, including a range of features limited to the newer smart technology. At the same time, the newer units are more energy efficient than anything offered in the past.
As an expert, you can point out how the energy ratings will benefit the client in the future, while also pointing out that the features make operating and controlling the unit easier than ever. That combination of savings and convenience might be all it takes to get them to move forward with the retrofit. This is especially true if you have some estimates on how much can be saved from one month to the next.
Complying With Current Safety and Building Codes
As local codes change over the years, it's not unusual for jurisdictions to include provisions that grandfather in older dwellings. The thing is that those clauses only remain in effect as long as the current owner retains those properties. If the time comes to sell the property, it may be necessary to bring everything up to code before that can happen.
This is not unusual with older structures with electrical wiring that dates back a few decades. While it may still seem to work fine, the reality is that the system is not up to code, and it does not provide the same level of efficiency or safety that new systems have to offer. Given that the cost of new electrical systems continues to increase from one year to the next, doing something now is a good idea.
Another incentive to take action now is that the IRA has more incentives that help even those in middle and lower income brackets offset the cost of replacing older electrical systems. In other words, there will never be a better time to bring everything up to code, and reap the benefits.
Minimizing Maintenance and Upkeep Costs
The relationship between repairs, retrofits and upgrades is not difficult to see, especially for clients who are aware of how much they are already spending on repairs to older home systems. Simply put, a series of retrofits can virtually eliminate the expense of trying to shore up the older systems and keep them going for a few more years. In fact, the cost savings alone will help to pay for the cost of the retrofit over time.
Consider how making the changes now would mean less maintenance and upkeep costs in the next several years. Now pair that with any energy savings that would result from the retrofit. What you may find is that taking action now will end up saving more money than you thought possible. Above and beyond that, there's the fact that you don't have to rearrange your schedule to wait for repair specialists as often.
Decrease Carbon Emissions
When people think of carbon emissions, the first thing that comes to mind is the use of fossil fuels, specifically fuel for automobiles. What may be overlooked is how these emissions may be associated with some aspect of the home or a place of business. In these types of situations, energy efficient retrofits can go a long way toward eliminating those emissions.
Consider what would happen if your home no longer relied on natural gas for heating or cooking purposes. Opting to go all electric and implement a solar energy system to augment the connection to the grid could do more than save a reasonable amount of money. The change could also mean that the carbon emissions generated within the structure and released into the environment could drop by a significant margin.
Enhancing the Brand's Reputation
While much of the focus on energy efficiency retrofits has to do with cutting energy costs while promoting a greater degree of comfort, there's another angle for those who own business properties to consider. This has to do with the reputation that the property owner has in the local business community. The goal is to use the retrofit as a way to generate more goodwill and enhance the reputation.
How does a retrofit tie into this? By offering business space that has electrical and plumbing systems that are up to date and efficient, the impression made on others is more positive. The same holds true when the heating and air conditioning system is known to work better than a lot of other structures around the city. Toss in the fact that business tenants will find that those new windows mean they will enjoy lower heating and cooling costs, and it's easier to see why prospective renters seek out that particular building.
Feeling Better About The World You'll Leave Behind
Whether the client is a homeowner or the owner of a business property, legacy is also something that's likely to matter. There's a lot to be said for passing on a residential or commercial property that has the latest and greatest in terms of energy efficiency. That's what happens when timely retrofits are conducted.
Proper retrofits translate into fewer emissions, less pollution overall, and a more sensible consumption of energy. That helps to alleviate some of the stress on the world's resources, and ensures future generations have what they need to function. It also means a cleaner world where a number of health issues will be less likely to develop.
Pointing out these benefits to your clients may get them thinking about the type of planet they want to leave behind for their kids and grandkids. Further, they may be more open to how they can put these newer IRA provisions to good use and cover part of the cost of a retrofit. As they see how the benefits go beyond them and stretch to include future generations, they may decide the effort is worth it.
There's no doubt that the provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act will create greater demand for professionals who offer services related to conducting energy audits, making suggestions for retrofitting structures that could be more energy efficient, and even the actual installation of those new systems. Now is the time to seek any additional training that you may need to help meet this growing demand. You're likely to find that pursuing a career related to this important venture will be rewarding on more than one level.