The Real Deal New York

Landlord complaints put new energy efficiency ratings on hold

The EPA has sought to update the rating system
October 09, 2018 01:00PM

New York City skyline, going green! (Credit: iStock)

Following considerable pushback from landlords, the Environmental Protection Agency is pausing its plans to update the system for energy efficiency ratings.

Changes to the system would affect office and industrial buildings, the Wall Street Journal reported. The move came after some landlords said their properties would be unfairly penalized.

More than 200,000 properties in the country participate in the Energy Star program. Though it’s not mandatory, many landlords participate because tenants are increasingly seeking energy-efficient buildings.

The EPA informed owners about the new rating system in August. The updated methodology would take into account new technologies like motion-sensitive lights and cloud-based energy-management systems, according to the Journal. But some owners said it was confused and unfairly downgraded some buildings.

Energy Star ratings can affect occupancy levels and the rents building owners can charge — which in turn affect property values.

Earlier this year, Chicago was deemed to have the greenest office market in the country. The city has the highest percentage of office buildings that are LEED or Energy Star certified, with 70 percent of office complexes owning that designation. Second and third place went to San Francisco and Atlanta, respectively. [WSJ] — Meenal Vamburkar