In September 2008, the California Public Utilities Commission adopted the most aggressive energy efficiency goals in the nation through its Long-Term Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan (CEESP).
The CEESP identified commercial buildings as the single largest users of energy in California, accounting for more than 38% of California’s electricity consumption and 25% of its natural gas use. Office buildings account for 25% of all energy used by this sector.
The CEESP established the following goals for commercial buildings:
- Zero net energy performance for all new commercial construction by 2030
- Fifty-percent (50%) of existing buildings achieve zero net energy performance by 2030
The California Sustainability Alliance assembled an expert group of professionals with substantial experience in commercial real estate to develop a pilot project designed to significantly accelerate development of green buildings in California. Through a series of workshops, the Alliance’s Green Buildings Advisory Committee observed that in California, much more office space is leased (90%) than is owned (10%). The Alliance’s Advisors strongly recommended focusing on greening the 90% of California’s existing office buildings that are leased.
The Alliance thus embarked upon a Green Leases Initiative that commenced with development of a Green Leases Toolkit 2.0 that creates a template for landlords and tenants to integrate green elements into commercial office leases.
In May 2009, the Alliance published a study exploring the opportunities and constraints in the greening of leased office space in California. Click here for the full report.