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Cities push for energy data on commercial buildings

February 14, 2013

Cities push for energy data on commercial buildings

As a way to incentivize landlords to compete for lower operational costs, Minneapolis is the largest U.S. city to adopt an energy benchmarking and disclosure rule for commercial buildings.

Private commercial building larger than 50,000 square feet must report energy and water use annually beginning 2015. The policy ? already adopted in Austin, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C. ? is meant to bolster market forces, rather than requiring building system design mandates, and motivate owners and tenants to invest in energy efficient improvements. The city of Minneapolis and other public offices will lead by example and begin publicly disclosing energy and water use in buildings larger than 25,000 square feet starting this year.

As with other city benchmarking ordinances, Minneapolis will help building owners tap free software (U.S. Environmental Protections Agency’s Portfolio Manager) to measure a building’s energy and water performance and generating a score. Additional free services are available for building owners including a drop-in help center, benchmarking workshops, daily technical assistance and how-to guide.

“Benchmarking lets you see trends and how your building compares with others. As a facilities manager, I am always looking for ways to lower costs, and being energy efficient is a way to do that, which benefits my company and its customers,” said Stephen Chandler, facilities manager at Verity Credit Union.

Read more at GreenBiz.

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