People constructing buildings have a limited budget, and so don't have the cash for building the project and paying for the highest efficiency HVAC, lighting, or appliances. So although the higher efficiency equipment has a better life cycle cost, it's rarely done because of the higher up front cost.
However there's been several companies that make loans for the higher efficiency equipment, and then take payments from the energy savings. (So if something saved you 10% off your utility bill, you might have to pay the investment company half of that discount.)
What just occurred to me, is the retirement management companies should totally get into this market, in theory there's a guaranteed return on investment, its just the return on investment is somewhat slow. However that's exactly the kind of return that you'd want to fund retirement programs.