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Utility Expenses Decrease across U.S.

Private-sector buildings report lower expenses despite rising cost of energy


Private-sector buildings report lower expenses despite rising cost of energy.

A tight focus on efficiency is credited for the drop in U.S. utility expenses for most sectors despite an increase in the cost of energy. Many private sector buildings also saw total operating expenses drop.
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A broad swath of U.S. commercial and institutional buildings observed a decrease of nearly 10% in utility expenses per square foot, according to BOMA International’s annual Experience Exchange Report.

Private sector buildings in downtown and suburban locations achieved a 9.3% reduction, though overall costs are an average of 30 cents higher per square foot at downtown locations. Multi-tenant buildings also saw greater savings than corporate or single-tenant facilities with decreases of 9.6% and 3.8% respectively. The decreases are attributed to an increased focus on efficiency.

However, not all sectors saved on utility expenses. Medical office buildings reported an increase of 2.7% for an average of $2.30 per square foot, while utility costs for government buildings climbed about 4.2% to $1.99.

The study also revealed a decrease in total operating expenses for most property types. Buildings in the study reported operating expenses of about $7.86 per rentable office square foot in 2012 compared to $8.18 in 2011.

The findings are based on a control sample of over 2,000 private sector buildings representing 385 million rentable square feet of office space.

The full Experience Exchange Report utilizes income and expense information from more than 5,300 buildings in over 250 markets. To see how your building compares, visit