Creating New Energy Savings Opportunities in C&I Buildings

Commercial and industrial buildings account for 45% of North Carolina’s energy usage but many building owners and operators lack the resources and incentives needed to invest in energy efficiency.  In addition to providing general owner and operator education on our consumer education website, NCBPA is leading policy advocacy and market development initiatives to bring greater energy saving opportunities to these buildings across the state. 

How You Can Play a Role

Join NCBPA as a Member Company, Sponsor or Partner to begin participating in planning meetings, code development campaigns, events and policy advocacy to push for more energy savings in commercial and industrial buildings!

NCBPA’s Work to Improving Energy Usage in C&I Buildings

NCBPA is working with member companies and partner organizations on a variety of activities that include:

  1. NCBPA seeks to amend the Commercial and Industrial Energy Efficiency Opt-Out Allowance created in 2007’s Senate Bill 3 “REPS” law to increase energy savings through improved funding for regulated utility energy efficiency programs.  Currently, roughly 60% of eligible customers and more than 75% of those in the industrial sector choose to opt-out from paying the higher utility rate inclusive of Demand Side Management/Energy Efficiency riders by self-certifying that they have performed an energy audit or energy efficiency improvement of some type at some point in time (there is not definition or requirement of either).  Currently, the state has no way to verify that companies in this sector, which consumes up to 50% of the state’s energy usage, are performing real energy audits or energy efficiency projects that contribute to energy savings.
  2. NCBPA seeks to modify or repeal 2013’s House Bill 201 that exempts some existing commercial buildings from NC’s new 2018 commercial energy code. This legislation created a loophole in energy efficiency standards for new additions to commercial buildings with a certificate of occupancy dated prior to January 1, 2012. Under this legislation, any building or new addition to an existing building with a certificate of occupancy dated prior to January 1, 2012 may choose to adhere to the energy efficiency standards in either the 2012 North Carolina Building Code or the 2009 North Carolina Building Code.  Permits cannot be denied or revoked for failing to meet these code requirements.  And, building owners cannot increase the building area by more than 150% to qualify for the exemption.
  3. NCBPA seeks to modify or repeal legislation similar to Senate Bill 131, Regulatory Reform Act of 2016-2017 that exempts some new commercial buildings from energy code requirements and may lead to a similar exemption related to the new 2018 NC Energy Code.  This legislation exempts new commercial buildings designated as Factory Group F, Storage Group S, or Utility/Miscellaneous Group U from minimum energy code requirements in the 2012 NC Energy Conservation Code, 2012 Building Code and 2015 NC Existing Building Code.  While the primary target of this legislation is factories, warehouses, storage facilities and other miscellaneous buildings, the legislation allows for offices and other administrative areas to be exempt from minimum energy code requirements if they exist within a building with a primary designation of F, S, or U.
  4. NCBPA seeks $25,000 of funding to perform our annual market inventory report, last completed in March of 2018, to gather valuable insight on NC’s residential and commercial building markets with a major focus on defining the added financial value of high performance commercial buildings. In 2018, NCBPA identified a 9.5% premium for high performance homes by comparing sale prices from code built homes versus those with home energy ratings and third-party certification programs like ENERGY STAR, NGBS, LEED and others.  NCBPA seeks funding to perform this same study on NC’s commercial buildings market to develop hard data that clearly demonstrates the higher financial value of commercial buildings that are built or retrofitted to energy efficient, green building and high performance standards.  Contact us if you’d like to participate or help fund this work.

The Business Case for High-Performing Buildings

Now more than ever, commercial real estate brokers have many reasons to pay attention to green and high performance building practices. From new technology and regulations, to corporate responsibility and sustainability programs driving demand for more efficient spaces and buildings that achieve designations such as LEED or ENERGY STAR, green is more than just a trend in commercial real estate; it’s here to stay.

The Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) offers a course that explains how once-niche green concepts are evolving into high-performance standards across office, retail, and industrial segments, and what commercial practitioners can do to take advantage of long- and short-term sustainability trends and best practices. Drawing from real-world examples, The Business Case for High-Performance Buildings shows how leading property owners incorporate energy efficiency and broader sustainability elements into their operational and investment decisions.

Watch the below video for an abbreviated version of this course.  Click here for more information.

Jarrett Davis of member company Hall a/e/c talks about ways that architects and engineers can work with builders and contractors to achieve high performance construction

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Watch this video to learn about zero energy buildings

Video courtesy of U.S. Department of Energy.

Phil Wilson of member company HICAPS speaks to the services his company provides to commission commercial buildings to assure high performance

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