San Francisco’s First Pay-for-Performance Efficiency Modernization Project Offers Innovative Upgrades to Historic Downtown Building
Gridium relies on two utility programs to finance otherwise unbudgeted equipment and to achieve significant energy savings for the building and the power grid
SAN FRANCISCO – December 10, 2020 – Gridium today announced that its energy retrofit project, built at 550 Montgomery Street on behalf of Downtown Properties, is the first to take advantage of PG & E’s Commercial Whole Building program, a performance-based program that financially rewards customers for every unit of energy saved. The upgrades were fully funded by PG&E’s invoice financing program, bypassing the building’s capital budget to meet efficiency goals and provide an improved environment for tenants. Once constructed, this project is expected to improve building operations, exceed project costs with energy savings over five years, and reduce annual energy costs by $ 0.26 / sq. Ft., Or 15% of total energy costs.
PG&E Whole Building Performance Based Program Delivers Greater Savings
“Our new program measures efficiency savings through innovative standardized measured energy consumption (NMEC) methods, leveraging advanced technology used by smart meters. This first project shows that metering energy measurement is the next crucial step towards deeper energy efficiency. We can now encourage the project-based savings that we see on the clock, while also making sure the savings persist and everyone’s economic goals are met, ”said Aaron August, vice president, Business Development and Customer Engagement for PG&E.
The standardized measured energy use approach measures changes in energy use at the whole building level. This means that an energy upgrade project can be complete and have lower transaction costs for building owners – the renovation of the 550 Montgomery includes LED lighting, high-efficiency electric motors and boiler controls. And since savings are measured over time, incentive payments can be made over time as energy efficiency is delivered to the power grid in real time.
In addition, the NMEC measurement approach also allows for custom calculations of the building’s base energy consumption. It is now possible to count non-routine events, such as the drop in energy used by 550 Montgomery Street due to occupancy changes linked to COVID-19.
“Adding value is fundamental to our approach to building ownership and leveraging two innovative PG&E programs to strengthen our sustainability is an exciting way to achieve these goals,” said S. DeMarco Carter, vice president of real estate management at Downtown Properties. “In addition to the economic benefits of this renovation, we hope to motivate our tenants to further consider their energy efficiency practices and sustainability efforts. Partnering with Gridium on the project really simplified the whole process.
Gridium’s turnkey project development offering begins with its market-leading energy analysis software and a free, contactless initial assessment. “We manage the investment quality audit, coordinating with PG&E and meeting the requirements of the various programs, and monitoring persistent performance over time,” said Aaron Panzer, Managing Director of Gridium Alpha. “It’s exciting to innovate and advance the standard for an NMEC-powered energy project under these operating conditions alongside the Downtown Properties and PG&E teams. “
Invoice financing aligns tenant benefits with ownership, bypassing the CAPEX budget
“Our goal is to create exclusive spaces for tenants where they can do their best,” said Dennis Collins, property manager at Downtown Properties. “Gridium’s turnkey project delivery means they manage upgrades while we stay focused during this particularly difficult time for everyone. And with PG&E’s invoice financing program, this historic building can modernize its systems without impacting our capital budget.
The project included upgrading the remaining 50% of interior lighting to high efficiency LED lamps, delivering better quality light at around 40% of the energy. A rooftop make-up air unit has been upgraded with two new high-efficiency motors and controls, allowing reduced fan speeds that precisely match ventilation demands throughout the day and throughout the week of work. Additionally, a hot water boiler controller has been installed to allow for outdoor air resets and sequence control strategies that result in energy savings.
The PG&E Invoice Funding program was used to fund this overall efficiency project, which had not been budgeted otherwise in the building. PG&E funds the energy upgrades to match the energy savings, then places the loan repayment service charge on the monthly utility bill. The loan is sized this way to ensure invoice neutrality while allowing for proportionate cost recovery. Tenants benefit from a better built environment without increasing total utility costs.
“Downtown Properties takes energy efficiency action in a way that inspires tenants and the market,” said Tom Arnold, CEO of Gridium. “The company’s leadership is reflected in PG&E’s innovative efficiency programs – OBF helps solve the shared incentive for commercial property owners, while the entire building incentive powered by NMEC pays off. buildings to dig deeper to save money and allows Gridium technology to show all stakeholders the real and the bottom line savings for the grid.
About Gridium Inc.
Buildings use Gridium to save energy, finance renovations and streamline operations. In total, the company directly serves more than 300 million square feet of buildings across the United States, and with Gridium, these buildings save millions of dollars on electricity, gas and water bills, extend the useful life of their assets and data. drive their sustainable operations.
About downtown properties
Downtown Properties is a multi-faceted real estate investment, management and development company focused on uncovering opportunity and creating value at every point, from every angle. A partner of Gaw Capital Partners, Downtown Properties has over 20 years of expertise in all aspects of real estate, with a portfolio of commercial, residential, real estate, hotel and resort operations that span across Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Hawaii. The company’s passion for creating unique experiences has produced a list of acclaimed properties – from the Bradbury Building in Los Angeles to the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.