What is a green lease? Where can I find sample language to incorporate into my existing lease terms? How can a green lease help me save energy in my building?
The answer to all of these questions can now be found in one place, the Green Lease Library, an online resource launched by the U.S. Department of Energy this week to help the commercial building sector implement green leases—rental agreements that encourage energy efficiency. Rocky Mountain Institute was among several advisers in the project.
To support the launch, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy will host a webinar on Monday, March 26, to provide guidance and strategies for using green leases and to answer questions from participants. The webinar will be held from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.
Green leases, also known as energy-aligned leases, high performance leases, or energy-efficient leases, according to DOE’s press release, use modified clauses to align the financial interests of building owners and tenants so both have an incentive to save energy and make cost-effective upgrades. This can help both tenants and landlords save money, conserve resources, extend the lifetime of equipment, and operate more efficiently.
Monday's webinar will highlight optimal strategies to promote energy efficiency through green leasing and show people how to use the resources in the Green Lease Library. Speakers will include Adam Sledd, from the Institute for Market Transformation, who will introduce the library website and discuss the advantages and challenges of implementing green leases, and Steve Teitelbaum, author of the a Green Lease Guide, who will talk about the components of a green lease, as well as best practices and strategies for negotiating lease clauses with tenants. Speakers from the U.S. General Services Administration will also discuss their agency's efforts to implement green leasing in federal buildings.
In October 2011, RMI co-hosted a workshop with Building Owners and Managers Association International to help address the issue of split incentives between landlords and tenants for paying for and benefiting from energy efficiency measures in leased spaces. The concept of green leases is starting to take off, with many templates, samples, and guidance documents having been developed. However, these resources have largely been scattered and hard to find, which was a challenge identified by workshop attendees. The new Green Lease Library starts to address this challenge by providing a centralized location for such information.
RMI provided guidance and review of the content included in the Green Lease Library, along with other collaborators, including the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Institute for Market Transformation, NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate, and Building Owners and Managers Association International.