"Turning green into gold" : a framework for energy performance contracting (EPC) in China's real estate industry

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-173
Journal / PublicationJournal of Cleaner Production
Online published21 Sep 2014
Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2015


There is a growing interest in a sustainable built environment and green technologies are gaining worldwide attention. However, implementing green technologies usually requires more investment than using traditional technologies and the payback period tends to be very long. In China, most developers sell their properties and subsequently transfer the ownership to customers. Hence, a crucial problem for promoting green construction is that developers cannot obtain economic profits ("gold") from implementing "green" technologies. Meanwhile, other stakeholders, such as property management companies, are also hesitant to adopt green technologies because of the large investment involved and their lack of experience. To tackle this problem, an energy performance contracting (EPC) based framework is proposed, to turn "green" investment into "gold" benefit by careful sharing of the risks existed. The framework was developed by conducting a focus group meeting with three experienced representatives from developer, property management company and energy service company respectively. A real-life case study, which includes both energy efficient system retrofit and new construction, is used to estimate the costs and benefits involved to demonstrate and verify the conceptual framework. The results show that the proposed framework can support the application of green technologies in both types of projects. Economic benefits as well as environmental benefits can be gained for the project stakeholders and the whole society.

Research Area(s)

  • China, Energy performance contracting (EPC), Energy service company (ESCO), Framework, Green technology