Seeing the Greenbacks in a Green Retrofit: Key Issues for Securing Financing for a Green Retrofit

October 26, 2010Article
Greenberg Glusker Environmental Law Blog

Savvy building owners and operators recognize the commercial rental market’s growing awareness of energy efficiency and sustainability issues. Driven by state and local government mandates and a desire for healthier working environments, builders and architects are constructing new green buildings nationwide. However, for every new green building constructed, there are thousands of existing commercial buildings that remain energy inefficient–consuming water, electricity and gas in excess and spending a premium in bloated operating expenses.

Renovating these relics of bygone days of carefree consumption to incorporate green concepts is a burgeoning industry. Even the Empire State Building in New York is undergoing a $20 Million green retrofit that is expected to save over $4.4 Million in annual energy costs and reduce the building’s overall energy consumption by close to 40%. Because investing the initial capital in a green retrofit can be expensive, especially for building owners in a down economy, many have turned to traditional lenders for financing. The majority of established lenders, however, have not yet developed a consistent approach for underwriting a green retrofit. In trying to secure financing for your green retrofit, how do you make your lender see the greenbacks in greening your building?

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