HCP Executive says REIT Expects More Solar Energy Projects in 2015

Tom Klaritch, executive vice president of medical office properties at HCP, Inc. (NYSE: HCP), joined REIT.com for a video interview at NAREIT’s 2015 Leader in the Light Working Forum in Reston, Va.

HCP is a fully integrated REIT serving the health care industry. It was the first health care REIT selected to the S&P 500 Index. Klaritch outlined a number of sustainability initiatives now underway at HCP.

He explained that after researching alternative energy sources for a number of years, HCP was able to initiate its first solar project at a California medical office building in 2014. The project was made possible due to lower costs, increased efficiencies and incentives from providers, Klaritch noted.

HCP plans to expand on that project through 2015, according to Klaritch, probably taking on three or four new projects as the REIT considers incentives in California, Colorado and several other states.

The project in California offered an investment payback of a little more than six years, “which we thought was acceptable,” Klaritch said.  He added that it will result in a 20 percent to 25 percent reduction in the building’s electric consumption.

Other sustainability initiatives involve the real time monitoring of buildings, known as “smart building sytems,” Klaritch noted. HCP has started a smart building system pilot project at five properties this year.

HCP has also been involved in the retro-commissioning of its properties to make sure they are running efficiently. “We’re finding that you can actually fine-tune those processes, as well as change some of your operational practices in the building,” Klaritch said.

Meanwhile, Klaritch emphasized the importance of benchmarking, both in terms of comparing HCP with its peers and comparing assets across the portfolio.

He stressed the importance of a good database in order to succeed at benchmarking.  “It’s really key that you have the right statistics in place and that they match the utilization of the building,” Klaritch said.