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Decarbonization is the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions through low/no-carbon dioxide emission power sources and increased building efficiency in order to lower the amount of GHG emissions produced by the burning of fossil fuels.

Increasingly, institutional investors including pensions funds, life insurance companies and sovereign funds are asking real estate managers how they’re addressing GHG emissions in their investment strategy. Additionally, state and local regulations and SEC’s climate change disclosure rules are also adding pressure for companies to reduce emissions.

GHG emissions are also leading to unprecedented climate change, which puts real estate properties at risk from various natural disasters, such as flooding, fire, and extreme temperatures. Decarbonizing a property will not only be necessary from an investor and regulatory perspective, but it would also aid in reducing climate risks overall.

Partner Energy’s team of energy efficiency and sustainability experts guides clients in the pursuit of decarbonization and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) targets with solutions that address client specific needs and business goals.

The Decarbonization Pathway

Partner Energy provides executable plans to get an asset or portfolio on track to meet its GHG reduction goals, whether it’s to reach net zero or other targets. We work with our client’s asset management team to develop a decarbonization pathway for each property using CRREM/SBTi, taking into account the asset’s energy efficiency, energy sources, grid energy sources, and company GHG reduction strategies. Once each asset has a defined decarbonization pathway, the asset-by-asset data can be aggregated to show how an entire portfolio could reach the desired carbon reduction target.

On a portfolio level, decarbonization pathways consider property hold periods and allow clients to consider mitigating carbon emissions at one asset through improvements at another (e.g., producing extra solar energy at one property to make up for emissions at another in order to get the entire portfolio down to net zero).

Additionally, understanding the full decarbonization pathway for a portfolio allows clients to bundle the procurement of carbon offsets or Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to obtain more favorable bulk pricing.

This can be a standalone service, but is ideally an add-on to the Energy Audit.

Our Approach to Carbon/GHG Emissions Reduction and Neutrality

  1. Develop carbon/GHG reduction or net zero goal for each property
  2. Establish baseline GHG emissions through benchmarking and GHG Emissions Inventory.
  3. Electric grid analysis – decarbonization of electric grid is a key component to achieving net zero carbon, and an analysis is necessary due to regional differences in electric grid emissions
  4. Reduce GHG emissions through:
    • Energy efficiency measures – recommend ways to reduce energy usage as part of an energy and water audit, with considerations for equipment’s life expectancy, total install costs, savings, energy reduction, carbon reduction, and the effect of grid decarbonization over time on carbon reduction.
    • Electrification measures – switch from fossil fuels to electricity.
    • Retro-Commissioning – optimize existing building systems and equipment functions
  5. Energy Generation – conduct a Solar or Renewable Energy Feasibility Study to help reduce our client’s dependence on grid-supplied electricity.
  6. Offset GHG emissions through carbon offsets and RECs
  7. Incorporate the impact of net zero strategy on the hold/sell/acquisition analysis

Decarbonization Proforma

In addition to the decarbonization pathway, Partner Energy can create a Decarbonization Proforma using inputs from CRREM (Carbon Risk Real Estate Monitor) pathways or other net zero carbon pathways, energy audits, PCAs, renewable energy studies, GHG benchmarking, and utility emissions analysis.

The proforma calculates the current carbon performance of the property and predicts future performance based upon industry accepted methodology and decarbonization commitments from the utility service providers or state policy. The proforma includes a list of energy conservation and decarbonization opportunities identified for the site.

The client can choose the implementation year for making improvements to a property and the proforma will calculate the effect on carbon emissions allowing the client to meet carbon emissions reduction goals for the property.

Level II Energy Audit with Decarbonization Report

Partner Energy can conduct an ASHRAE Level II energy and water audit, which provides a list of energy and water conservation measures, as well as an analysis of installing renewable energy at the property. The decarbonization portion of the report focuses on the costs and benefits of fuel switching and the opinions of costs for installing and operating equipment that switches fuel sources. The decarbonization section also analyzes and projects the impact on the property’s carbon emissions based on decarbonization commitments from the utility service providers or state policy.

Contact us to learn more.

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