Coming October 3, 2011, large (50,000 sf +) commercial buildings in Seattle will be required to benchmark and report their energy use. Starting April 1, 2012 smaller (10,000 sf+ including mulit-family of five units or more) commercial buildings will also be required to report.
The city adopted this policy from a recommendation of its Green Building Task Force. They determined that 26% of Seattle’s green house gas emissions are from energy used in buildings. Benchmarking is a way to record and compare energy usage among buildings. Seattle is requiring the use of the EPA’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager, a free and secure online benchmarking tool:www.energystar.gov/benchmarking
The city is looking to achieve a 20% reduction in the energy consumption of existing buildings. This translates to lowering energy costs for owners and tenants. Having this energy use information not only helps the owners and tenants but also the City of Seattle and local utilities. It helps them to target energy efficiency retrofits and incentive dollars more effectively.