In keeping with that theme, BOMA on Monday unveiled astandardized contract that building owners can use to reduce energycosts via retrofitting their buildings and at the same time financethose retrofits without placing additional debt on their buildings.The model contract, developed by BOMA in cooperation with theClinton Climate Initiative, is an agreement between an energyservice provider and a building owner in which the energy serviceprovider guarantees to save the building owner a certain amount ofmoney on energy costs each year by retrofitting a building. Inreturn, the building owner agrees to pay the energy servicesprovider out of the savings realized through the retrofit.

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Brenna Walraven, BOMA International chairman and executivemanaging director of national property management for USAA RealEstate Co., explained in a press conference regarding the modelcontract that such energy performance contracting has been in placefor decades in the government sector. But energy performancecontracting has not caught on in the private sector because of anumber of hurdles: Thus far it has been costly, time-consuming anddifficult to finance.

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The new BOMA-CCI model energy performance contract is designedto overcome those obstacles by providing a standardized contractthat addresses all of the legal and technical issues involved innegotiating such a deal, and it also provides a blueprint forfinancing the contract via a lease between the building owner andthe energy services provider. Henry Chamberlain, president and CEOof BOMA who kicked off the energy contract press conference, saidthat the organization sought to create "a turn-key program and asimplified contract" for building owners.

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Walraven said that BOMA expects to have two pilot examples ofthe energy performance contracts in place within the next 60 days,one in Richmond, VA and one in Sacramento, CA. One will be designedto save the building owner $100,000 per year on energy costs andthe other will be aimed at saving $150,000 per year. Once BOMA canshow case histories of these contracts, she says, the group expectsthat the contracts will gain wide acceptance among buildingowners.

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Walraven commented that direct energy costs savings, although alarge and significant component of BOMA's efforts toward greenpractices, represent just one facet of the industry's drive tointroduce green practices in virtually every aspect of buildingoperations. During Monday morning's general session at the BOMAconference, Walraven and other top sustainability experts outlinedthe current state of green building practices and where the greenmovement is headed. Rick Fedrizzi, president and CEO of the USGreen Building Council, recalled how the council's efforts toencourage sustainability at first met with resistance.

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"Early on, we had doors slammed in our faces because we talkedabout the environmental benefits," Fedrizzi recalled. "But when wemade the business case, people started listening."

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