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Building Portfolio Challenge Infographic


America’s 120 million buildings use 42% of the nation’s energy—more than any other sector. Retrofitting existing commercial buildings for energy efficiency is one of the greatest opportunities facing the industry. We know what can be achieved on a building-by-building basis, but how can we bring these solutions to scale—and save more than a trillion dollars that currently escapes our buildings in wasted energy?

Applying deep retrofits across building portfolios is a great way for companies to bring efficiency to scale and capture the financial and non-energy benefits of efficient buildings. Moving through an average busy day, you would be surprised at the energy-saving potential around you. Just take a look!

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Coffee Run
Hit the Gym
Work, Work, Work
Supermarket Sweep
Let's Go to the Movies!

01 — Coffee Run


Each time you stop in your local coffee shop, you may not think about how much energy it takes to run the espresso machine. But, consider that a popular coffee chain—with 17,244 stores worldwide and an average store size of 1,500 sq. ft.—uses 10 times more energy on average per store per month than a typical U.S. home.

02 — Hit the Gym


Next you head to the gym, entering to the buzz of an air conditioner, the hum of treadmills, and the flicker of dozens of flat screen televisions. Treadmills alone use around 1500 watts, the same amount of energy to power 15 incandescent bulbs. The nation’s largest fitness chain owns more than 400 clubs in the U.S. alone, with facilities ranging from 25,000 to 50,000 sq. ft. There’s a big opportunity for fitness franchises to help you shrink your waistline and their energy use.

03 — Work, Work, Work


Head to the office and power up your computer, switch on your desk lamp, and cool off from the industrial air conditioner. Consider that the Empire State Building—the world’s most famous office building—underwent a deep retrofit that reduced energy use by 44% and saves $4.4 million annually—while increasing occupant comfort and decreasing unleased space. The U.S. General Services Administration—America's largest owner of office space—is adopting this successful deep retrofit approach.

04 — Lunchtime


There may be hidden energy costs wrapped up in that burrito. The food service industry has the highest energy consumption of all commercial uses. Every year, $4.8 billion is spent for energy in food service buildings and most of this is spent on electricity—powering every process from food prep to refrigeration and sanitation.

05 — Supermarket Sweep


Grocery stores are twice as energy intensive as office buildings and schools, with 56% of the energy going to the cooling and refrigeration systems. As utility costs rise, stores across the country can get serious about energy efficiency, particularly if they care to keep prices low for value-conscious customers. If Texas grocer H-E-B can reap 50% energy savings through integrated design in one store, incorporating progressively better efficiency strategies in other new and existing stores could help keep their ice cream cold...with less energy.

06 — Let's Go to the Movies!


There’s more than meets the eye in that theatre. The typical modern projector working at medium brightness for 105 minutes uses 9.6 kWh, accounting for approximately 12 pounds of carbon dioxide. With 6,777 screens at 548 sites, the country’s largest movie chain shows thousands of movies per week. Think about how much energy and CO2 can be saved at every theater!


Learn More:

Today, energy service providers are learning how to optimize the deep retrofit process and achieve upwards of 60% energy savings in a single building. What’s needed, however, is progress by the industry to target these savings across many buildings through a deliberate and well-timed portfolio strategy.

Earlier this year, Rocky Mountain Institute launched the Portfolio Energy RetroFit Challenge to partner with large portfolio owners and change how they identify opportunity at scale. Want to learn more about why deep retrofits are critical to reducing U.S. emissions from buildings? Visit the RetroFit Depot to learn more.

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