Energy regulations affecting New York property owners under the PlaNYC Greener, Greater Buildings Plan are giving a boost to the market for energy efficiency solutions, creating a wealth of opportunities for energy efficiency and consulting firms like Bright Power.
Bright Power handles the full suite of energy management services, from audits and benchmarking of existing energy consumption levels, to assistance in securing grants and rebates, to solar system design and installation. And the company’s Energy Scorecard offering, an online benchmarking tool for multi-tenant buildings that provides data on energy and water usage, has resulted in it having access to ”the largest database of multi-family energy use database that we know of,” said Bright Power President and founder Jeffrey Perlman, who was recently named one of the Top Ten Energy Entrepreneurs of New York by Breaking Energy.
The database holds energy use information on more than 10,000 buildings -- close to half a billion square feet of real estate -- in 49 states, the Virgin Islands and other territories. It is “enabling us to provide insights back to our customers about the best opportunities for finding savings,” Perlman said. It can highlight not only areas for improvement, but also where, and whether, efficiency improvements are actually resulting in savings.
And Bright Power focuses primarily on New York, where it can reap the benefits of regulations that are spurring rising demand for its services, and those of its competitors.
“The city has these requirements that buildings must do energy efficiency work,” Perlman said, referring specifically to Local Laws 84 and 87. Local Law 84, which took effect in May, requires owners of large buildings to measure yearly energy consumption. Local Law 87 requires buildings 50,000 square feet or larger to undergo energy audits and retro-commissioning, or “tune-ups," of existing systems, once each decade.
“Every building over 50,000 square feet (and there are 15,000 or so of them) has to get an energy audit done sometime in the next ten years,” Perlman said. “It’s an opportunity for us to discuss all of the potential projects [buildings] have for saving energy.”
Perlman acknowledged that some property owners may choose to do the minimum required to comply with laws. But others may have already identified energy saving issues they want to address, such as uneven distribution of heating throughout a building, or energy costs that seem excessively high. And some have an interest in investing in a more comprehensive approach that will result in longer-term cuts to energy consumption and, over time, costs. “This law is a great catalyst for people to say, ‘I have to do this anyway, so now is a great time to handle it,'” he said.
“We’ve seen a real uptick in the number of folks who are interested in getting the most out of Local Law 87,” Perlman said.