Kimco Realty Corp. (NYSE: KIM), the nation’s largest owner and operator of neighborhood and community shopping centers, and Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E), one of the country’s largest natural gas and electric utilities, have launched a collaborative effort to reduce tenant energy use in existing shopping centers. Through this project, Kimco and PG&E seek to identify energy efficient improvements to leased retail spaces, to better understand the existing barriers to investing in such improvements, and to develop business models that encourage landlord and tenant adoption of efficiency measures. Kimco’s Westlake Shopping Center in Daly City, Calif., will serve as the project’s pilot site. Kimco turned its focus to tenant energy utilization after its own data, collected since the company launched its Corporate Responsibility Program in 2010, showed that upwards of 85 percent of the energy used within its shopping centers results from tenant business operations. Landlord-controlled common area usage, which remains a focus of Kimco’s, accounts for the rest of a center’s energy footprint. “As a real estate sustainability leader, our goal is to identify energy-efficiency improvements that will have the greatest impact, while developing investment models that will best serve the shopping center industry,” said Will Teichman, Kimco’s director of sustainability. “PG&E is proud to partner with Kimco on this innovative project to reduce energy usage in their retail operations,” said Jess Brown, director of energy solutions and service for PG&E. “By expanding the focus beyond common areas in shopping centers to include tenant-occupied spaces, we will be able to help them achieve even greater energy savings.” The 686,000-square-foot Westlake Shopping Center is located at John Daly Boulevard and Lake Merced Boulevard in Daly City, Calif. Kimco selected Westlake Shopping Center as the pilot site for the tenant energy efficiency initiative because of its location within PG&E’s service territory, the diverse range of retail tenants at the property, and because Kimco has been actively implementing efficiency solutions at the center. Recent enhancements include the installation of energy-efficient lighting in Westlake’s common areas, and the addition of a state-of-the-art energy management system to monitor and control common area electric usage. This month, Westlake will debut the San Francisco Bay Area’s first eVgo Freedom Station, which offers standard 240-volt electric vehicle charging and a DC Fast Charger that can provide a nearly full charge in about 30 minutes.