Real Estate Tip – Renewable On-Site Power: Who Pays to Charge a Tenant’s Chevy Volt?


In two previous LEED tips, Part 1 and Part 2, we explored how taking steps that result in LEED certification may yield little if any improvement in energy efficiency. Another efficiency-neutral LEED concern is clean on-site power generation. Back-up generators are common, but eliminating fossil fuel from on-site power production was, until recently, very rare.

Just as renewable on-site power is catching on, its mission is expanding. To earn LEED points, renewable power must not just be back-up power, it must offset one to fifteen percent of the building’s total energy cost. That cost can include efficient space heating and cooling for buildings using heat pumps. If tenants drive Nissan Leafs and Chevy Volts, their space becomes a renewable filling station. Leases must anticipate sub-metering schemes for renewable power, capital cost sharing and use limitations. In this arena landlords and tenants need energy-savvy real estate lawyers, brokers and insurance professionals to maximize their renewable advantage.

Combined heat and power is becoming combined heat fuel and power. In our next real estate tip we’ll look at on-site non-renewable systems that can provide up to 100 percent of a building’s electricity needs along with a wider range of vehicle fuels.

Today’s real estate tip is brought to you by Rick Smith, a LEED Accredited Professional and member of Bernstein Shur’s Real Estate Practice Group and Green Building Team. Stay tuned for more useful tips for real estate professionals.

For more information on renewable on-site power, contact Rick at or 603 623-8700 ext. 8829 or 207 774-1200.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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