Explore electrification, electric vehicle (EV) charging and solar solutions to decrease costs and energy consumption, capture utility incentives, reduce exposure to community pricing and lower technical labor requirements.

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As Corporate Real Estate & Facilities (CRE&F) leaders explore sustainability initiatives, they often find that these capital investments can aid in reducing both carbon emissions and operating expenses.

Three of the most common initiatives explored by CRE&F departments today include EV charging for company fleets and employee vehicles, programs to electrify building equipment and solar projects.

Many corporations have new carbon-reduction commitments and require an integrated approach to EV charging solutions. They are challenged to find an approach that meets sustainability goals, optimizes costs, reduces risks and improves charger uptime while also providing access to utilities, hardware providers and contractors.

When considering electrification, HVAC equipment with less than 5-8 years of remaining useful life are prime candidates for replacement, given the high maintenance spend required and significant energy efficiency degradation. Similarly, buildings with lighting and controls systems older than 10 years offer a prime opportunity to explore the quantitative and qualitative benefits of retrofitting. Proactive HVAC and lighting replacement programs require expedited due diligence, business case development and implementation—ultimately achieving sustainability and cost-reduction targets.

These electrification programs are typically useful for packaged rooftop and split-system HVAC equipment, LED lighting, refrigeration systems, solar, storage and EV charging solutions.


CRE&F leaders who use proactive electrification programs achieve project cost savings of 20%-30%, while also meeting their operational savings goals.
Chris BahrCBRE Senior Managing Director, Global EV Solutions
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How to Begin?

EV Charging:

  1. Obtain full control and visibility throughout the EV lifecycle and into the contribution of EV charging deployment toward net zero goals through scalable integrated program and cost management.
  2. Identify and secure the highest quality sites through site consulting, a comprehensive EV charging site database, location analytics and access to an extensive grants database.
  3. Optimize charging installation with the highest regard for safety, speed and quality through utility upgrades with the shortest lead times and faster access to charging hardware and electrical gear.
  4. Achieve industry-leading uptime through 99%+ reliability from 24/7 monitoring and the largest service technician network. Integrate charger management to building management and identify utility program integrations for new revenue sources.
  5. Deliver fast and efficient EV charging scale-up through a zero-capex solution priced at or below the cost of fossil fuels.


  1. Asset Data: Assessing viability requires reliable asset inventories, asset condition reports, remaining useful life and approximate cost of replacement estimates.
  2. Building Information: Be aware of any other improvements that may be planned for these properties (e.g., roof replacements, tenant improvement upgrades) to minimize business disruptions.
  3. Communications: These are capital-intensive projects, so having open communications with lines of business and site leaders is important.
  4. Capital investment: Decide whether the organization is prepared to invest capital now or whether energy as a service (EaaS) options using third-party capital might be an attractive alternative.

Why Now?

There are many reasons why CRE&F should invest in proactive HVAC replacements, EV charging and onsite renewables sooner rather than later:

  • With a growing number of corporations committing to carbon-neutral targets, CRE&F will be expected to identify strategies to support these goals.
  • Many countries are making federal policies to mitigate climate change by offering corporations and individuals incentives to invest in sustainability measures.
  • Governments are requiring further regulations and in-depth reporting (e.g., municipal-level carbon emission taxes).
  • More efficient equipment reduces maintenance expenses and also improves the working environment and wellbeing of buildings.
  • Building owners are in a unique position to decarbonize by utilizing their rooftops for solar and co-locating power generation with their load without having to rely on the utility infrastructure, with its capacity limitations and power outages.
  • EV infrastructure is swiftly evolving, accelerated by government-led initiatives and increased supply and demand of electric vehicles.

High-Impact Examples:

Province of British Columbia, Canada: CBRE delivers a comprehensive program for a scalable charging solution that covers fleet, workplace and destination, and on-the-go fast charging for the Province of British Columbia.

  • The Province of British Columbia secured the best locations to install each charger using consultation to prioritize and design optimal charging infrastructure and insight from Dimension EV (CBRE’s proprietary location analytics tool that provides real-world data).
  • The Province of British Columbia benefited from cost savings of almost 40%.
  • To provide further reliability and efficiency, CBRE partners with local utilities and provides ongoing preventative maintenance.

Financial Services Corporation: CBRE’s partnership with this Financial Services client is strongly focused on the reduction of the bank’s environmental impact and energy consumption:

  • Installation of LED lighting and controls in more than 1,450 administrative and retail locations producing an annual run-rate reduction of $11.5 million associated with reduced energy costs and additional Operations & Maintenance savings.
  • The investments to date have reduced 59K metric tons of emissions and have saved 83.4M KWH.
  • Replacement of 1,400 HVAC units, with an investment of $13 million and R&M savings of $2.4 million.

* Updated strategies and lessons learned since publication of the 2022 report.

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