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ReEnergize Reno FAQs

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What is ReEnergize Reno?

ReEnergize Reno is a comprehensive energy and water efficiency program that provides tools to building managers and owners who develop and implement building efficiency projects with the goal to reduce energy and water use 20% by 2025.

Who can participate in ReEnergize Reno?

ReEnergize Reno is open to the following types of buildings:

  • Existing Buildings: All non-vacant commercial, multifamily, and industrial facilities with 13 months of energy and water use data available regardless of use or size
  • New Buildings: All new construction must wait until 13 months of energy and water use data is available

How does ReEnergize Reno work?

Building owners and managers that join ReEnergize Reno commit to reducing their energy and water use 20% by 2025, with the baseline year of 2014. Building owners and managers may choose to go above and beyond by including solid waste and recycling in their challenge commitment. The City of Reno provides technical assistance and resources, education, and peer networking opportunities to ensure that building owners and managers have access to successful strategies to reduce energy and water use, and lower energy bills while maintaining building comfort.

Why should buildings owners or managers participate?

Participating in ReEnergize Reno offers a number of benefits to building owners and managers. Proactively tackling energy and water waste frees up capital that building owners and managers can use elsewhere while providing an attractive energy rate to current and prospective tenants. Responsible fiscal stewardship on behalf of tenants creates trust. Studies have shown that efficient buildings have higher occupancy rates, lease renewal rates, and sale prices than less efficient properties. Undertaking these improvements alone can be daunting without support or prior experience, which is why the city invites owners and managers to participate in ReEnergize Reno and utilize all of the resources and support needed to achieve energy and water reduction goals.

Why is Reno doing this?

In 2015, the Mayor and City Council joined the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, the world’s largest coalition of city leaders addressing climate change. Through this commitment, the City of Reno pledged to measure greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, set targets for reducing climate pollution, implement a climate action plan, track progress, and prepare for the impacts of climate change. In our community, the biggest contributors of climate pollution are commercial and industrial buildings. This program will cut energy waste in large buildings and help our community to meet our goals for reducing climate pollution.

Investments in energy and water efficiency also creates better buildings with significant and well-documented economic benefits. These improvements help owners and operators to reduce utility costs while maintaining or improving the services they already offer, which frees up capital that can be spent in more productive ways. Energy efficient properties have higher occupancy rates and sale premiums. Aside from these benefits, energy efficiency investments create jobs.

For every $1 million spent to improve efficiency in commercial buildings, approximately 13 jobs are created.

Why does ReEnergize Reno include water and the option to include waste?

In 2015, the U.S. Department of Energy expanded its Better Buildings Challenge program to include water. Since then, participants have saved 4 billion gallons of water.

As a high-desert community, Reno has limited rainfall. Our region is especially vulnerable to droughts, and with changes to the climate our region can anticipate more drought periods. The water that comes to our community from Lake Tahoe is a finite resource that requires responsible management for current and future generations. Truckee Meadows Water Authority, a sponsor of ReEnergize Reno, encourages responsible water use and cost-effective practices, techniques and technologies that improve water efficiency for both indoor and outdoor use.

Waste reduction offers an additional path for reducing climate pollution, and a way to go above and beyond ReEnergize Reno commitments. Waste prevention and recycling help to conserve natural resources and save energy. Products made from recycled materials typically require less energy to manufacture, energy used to extract, transport and process raw materials. Waste prevention and recycling also help to reduce methane emissions produced by landfills. 

What if my business requires confidentiality?

ReEnergize Reno results are reported portfolio-wide with all participants’ results in aggregate, which anonymizes the data collected. Recognition is based on progress toward making 20% reductions, without actual use being mentioned. Additional measures can be taken to protect the privacy of organizations, while still allowing the ReEnergize Reno team to verify results. Unique confidentiality requests are a welcome discussion, and flexibility can be given to encourage participation.

Can alternative metrics to energy use per sq. ft. be used for industrial facilities?

Yes! Often times industrial and manufacturing facilities increase production without increasing their building footprint, which would unfairly skew benchmarking results as energy and water use may increase proportionately with production. The appropriate metric for your facility’s process or production type will be discussed and agreed upon when signing up.