At MGM Resorts, we recognize the value of making environmentally sustainable business decisions during Design & Development. This is no truer than for energy efficiencies. Between 2009 and 2019, we constructed more than 20 million square feet of new developments certified to LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Gold or Platinum levels. Each property built to this standard incorporated advanced design and equipment choices to reduce long-term energy demand.
We specify energy efficiency requirements for all development projects. Through our bold commitment to building certifications, we exceed relevant energy codes and standards in the communities in which we operate. By mandating energy efficiency requirements into development projects, we improve the environmental impact of our properties from the onset.
We design commissioning plans for all new development projects and refresh commissioning schedules for existing properties undergoing major renovations. Designing or refreshing commissioning schedules helps to optimize building performance overtime. This helps enable progress towards our energy goals and continues our transition towards a low carbon economy.
Our long-time commitment to energy-efficient Design & Development is clear in our membership to the Better Buildings Challenge. The initiative is a coalition of more than 360 building owners, operators and other stakeholders committed to reducing energy use by at least 20%. As a signatory, MGM Resorts has pledged three commitments. First, we aim to improve the efficiency of our resorts and agree to periodic energy efficiency assessments. Second, we commit to formalizing an energy efficiency strategy and executing it to enable ongoing energy savings, helping us to progress towards our energy goals. Finally, we commit to reporting our data and performance through Energy Star® to our Better Buildings Challenge partners. We also have a robust annual sustainability reporting process to disclose data-driven insights to our stakeholders. Participation in voluntary leadership initiatives such as Better Buildings Challenge is another driver of developing and enhancing properties responsibly and efficiently.
Pledge to the Better Buildings Challenge:
Over the past 14 years, MGM Resorts has prioritized efficiency efforts in our primary energy 'hotspots' of heating, cooling and lighting. We have adopted a culture of innovation in energy management by testing a wide range of energy technologies and processes and rolling out successful ideas. During operations, our energy approach focuses on building controls, efficient equipment and systems and ongoing commissioning.
As an entertainment company with more than 92 million square feet of buildings under management, building controls are essential to managing our resorts. Building controls improve guest comfort, manage buildings more efficiently, reduce energy consumption and lower utility bills. Additionally, these controls are vital for decarbonizing our properties. They automate our energy systems to account for occupancy and indirectly lower greenhouse gas emissions. We have made it a standard practice to equip our properties with smart building controls.
To enable progress on our energy and climate goals, we install or retrofit energy-efficient equipment, focusing on heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC&R) systems, lighting and electrical equipment. Efficient equipment and systems can significantly reduce energy demand and have been critical in achieving our 23.9% energy reduction per square foot from our 2007 baseline.
Energy use and costs are greatly affected by heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration systems efficiency. As an operator of major resorts in both very humid and very dry locales, our HVAC&R systems also regulate humidity to enhance guest comfort, making our HVAC&R systems' efficiency more critical. One of many actions we have taken to improve efficiency in this area is the installation of more than 1,000 variable speed drives on fans, pumps and compressor motors to ensure less energy is needed to move air and fluids around our buildings.
With lighting being one of the greatest consumers of electricity across our resorts and entertainment venues, efficient lighting and electrical equipment are a core focus in our approach to energy management. We have installed over 1.4 million Light Emitting Diodes (LED) in one of America’s largest lighting retrofit projects.
Through regular preventative maintenance, our facilities teams optimize the operations of our energy systems and equipment. We undertake ad hoc energy audits to better understand energy use at our properties. In turn, we aim to discover opportunities for lowering energy costs and use. Our resorts have regular preventative maintenance to check and optimize energy equipment. Additionally, we use smart building technologies to optimize our ongoing commissioning. We use smart energy analytics and fault detection and diagnostics systems to bring visibility to energy waste and clarify maintenance and efficiency opportunities.
At MGM Resorts, we are committed to the aggressive pursuit of renewable energy. By investing in renewables, we lower long-term energy costs, drive revenue through reputational benefits and mitigate the risk of increased carbon pricing from forthcoming regulation.
Even though Nevada is not a deregulated electricity market, we obtained the right to transition to a wholesale electricity market in 2015. Despite the impact fee of more than $80 million, we chose to proceed so that we could control our energy future and more rapidly source renewable electricity. Our carbon emissions reductions have been primarily driven by this flexible renewables strateg
Renewable Energy Projects:
Since 2007, MGM Resorts has invested more than $68 million in energy efficiency projects. These investments have driven material progress towards our energy and climate goals.
Did You Know?
America's largest contiguous rooftop solar array sits atop the convention center at Mandalay Bay
The State of Nevada is taking bold action on clean energy expansion. In 2019, new laws included targets of 50% clean energy across the state by 2030 and 100% carbon-free energy by 2050. MGM Resorts supported the legislation that drove these ambitious goals which will enable widespread decarbonization for our own company and our region.
Find our energy-related targets, performance and progress in our Social Impact & Sustainability Metrics and Goals 2021 disclosure.