RMI Improves Energy Efficiency Across Real-estate Portfolios

Snowmass, Colo.-based Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) and AT&T Inc., Dallas, are working together to develop a real-estate-portfolio approach to dramatically improve energy efficiency in AT&T’s facilities as part of the Portfolio Energy RetroFit Challenge. Launched by RMI in 2012, the Portfolio Energy RetroFit Challenge aims to demonstrate to building owners and operators that deep-energy retrofits are technically feasible and financially prudent, especially when applied at scale.

The scope of AT&T’s real-estate portfolio includes more than 65,000 facilities in more than 60 countries. The Portfolio Energy RetroFit Challenge aims to build on AT&T’s current energy program to drive larger energy savings and enhance the company’s competitive advantage in an ever-growing energy-intensive industry. “In 2011, we implemented more than 4,500 efficiency projects that totaled an annualized savings of $42 million,” explains John Schinter, AT&T’s executive director of Energy. “By working with RMI, we’re looking to identify ways to expand our program even further.”

Beginning with a high-level, portfolio-wide analysis, RMI and AT&T teams will determine how efficiency investments can make the greatest impact. The product of that analysis will be a long-term capital and construction schedule for deploying extensive retrofits and other bundles of efficiency measures across a portfolio at the right time, utilizing the right technologies, business processes and operational strategies.

The Portfolio Energy RetroFit Challenge is intended to be a model for companies to select efficiency improvements that support important corporate real-estate goals, such as improving space utilization or improving occupant satisfaction and demand. “While progress has been made on a building-by-building basis, what’s needed now is a way to scale,” says Coreina Chan, RMI buildings consultant. “By enabling large-portfolio building owners to pursue upwards of 50 percent savings across multiple buildings through a deliberate and well-timed portfolio-wide strategy, we can demonstrate that building efficiency is a smart investment.”

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