Douglas Emmett

At a Glance


Real Estate

Project Type

Commercial Energy Efficiency




Santa Monica, CA

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Net Present Value:


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Annual kWh Savings:

3,600,000 kWh

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Annual CO2 Reductions:

2,000 metric tons


Kevin Kohlstedt helped Douglas Emmett implement electric vehicle charging stations and rooftop solar installations to reduce its energy use, and recommended ways to secure project financing.


Douglas Emmett, a real estate investment trust with a portfolio of over 75 Class A commercial office and residential properties, enlisted EDF Climate Corps fellow Kevin Kohlstedt to help reduce its energy use and evaluate sustainability projects. Having set a goal of reducing energy costs by 5% annually, the company was well-established as an industry leader in energy efficient buildings. But, the Engineering Services team had a limited budget, which required short payback periods in order to get approval for energy efficiency and sustainability projects.


After evaluating existing facilities and potential utility incentives, Kevin and the Engineering Services team determined that Douglas Emmett could reduce its energy use significantly by replacing fluorescent lights with LEDs in parking garages and stairwells. Since these lights are in use all year, they provided the greatest potential savings. They decided it was best to use an energy service company to perform the work and file for utility incentives, therefore freeing up Douglas Emmett employees for other key projects.

Based on input from Douglas Emmett property managers and tenants, Kevin identified a strong demand for electric vehicle (EV) charging stations and rooftop photovoltaic (PV) solar. To help offset the cost to install these features, he recommended using both utility incentives and setting up a Green Revolving Fund (GRF)—an investment vehicle that provides financing through the savings generated from energy efficiency projects. Instituting a GRF would help the firm secure a consistent funding stream to pursue additional sustainability projects.

Potential Impact

Kevin’s analysis identified savings of $4 million in net operational costs, 3.5 million annual kilowatt hours of electricity and 2,000 metric tons of annual carbon dioxide emissions. Kevin and the Engineering Services team initiated the LED lighting project, delivering immediate payback to the firm. Moving forward, the GRF could help Douglass Emmett finance an additional $1 million in annual energy efficiency and sustainability projects.

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