Study links smart-grid technologies, commercial real estate growth.

Author:Sorohan, Mike

"Connected" cities--those that actively apply smart-grid 'a technologies as part of a municipal investment strategy--show improvement in three key commercial real estate (CRE) economic indicators, reported Jones Lang LaSalle (Jn), Chicago.

JLL's Connected City study reported a correlation between municipal investment and application of smart-grid technologies, and three key economic indicators of the health of the commercial real estate industry--strong employment, gross domestic product (GDP) growth and positive office market occupancy.

When researchers compared connected city smart-grid cities with North American averages, they found that connected cities have an annual GDP growth rate 0.7 percent higher, an unemployment rate 1 percent lower and office occupancy rates 2.5 percent higher than less-advanced cities.

"Cities that invest in smart-grid technology and infrastructure and implement programs to enable energy-efficient corporate operations are winning the competition for new businesses and job growth," said Dan Probst, chairman of energy and sustainability services with Jones Lang LaSalle. "This correlation speaks to the value of strong relationships between public-sector infrastructure custodians and power suppliers and the responsibilities of private businesses to be smart users of energy and to work together to drive productivity improvements at both the city and individual corporation level."

A smart grid is a power delivery system that uses advanced information technology (IT) to improve the effectiveness and sustainability of energy production and distribution. JLL researcher Christian Beaudoin compared the economic performance of connected cities--identified as cities that have made investments in smart-grid technology, including a combination of regulation, financial commitments...

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