Solar Power Plant in modern city,Sustainable Renewable Energy.

Report | 2018

Guide: Best Practices for Achieving Zero Over Time for Building Portfolios

By Cara CarmichaelMatt JungclausAlisa Petersen
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Net-zero energy (NZE) buildings are gaining interest from building owners, tenants, and landlords alike. A zero-over-time (ZOT) approach focuses on cost-effective energy efficiency and renewable energy by prioritizing projects that pay back quickly in the short term, while aligning larger energy efficiency projects with major building life-cycle events, like equipment upgrades. The ZOT approach sets commercial building portfolios on a financially viable path to achieve net zero energy.


Why It Matters

Existing commercial buildings consume 36% of all electricity in the United States and are responsible for more than $190 billion in energy every year. Today, existing buildings globally are only receiving energy retrofits at a rate of around 1% per year, while a rate of around 3.2% per year is required to avoid irreversible climate change and hit the two degree Celsius increase target by 2040 (as laid out at COP21). The ZOT approach helps portfolio owners and managers right-time deep energy efficiency, renewable energy, and energy storage projects with life-cycle event triggers for investment.