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2018 Benchmarking: New and Updated Ordinances

  • January 27, 2018
  • Kate Roberts
2018 Benchmarking: New and Updated Ordinances

New and updated 2018 benchmarking ordinances

As of 2018, there are over twenty benchmarking ordinances in place across North America. For a number of regions, 2018 is the initial year benchmarking is in place. In addition, many cities are expanding their benchmarking requirements for 2018. Benchmarking ordinances require owners of large buildings in the cities, counties, and states (and one Canadian province!) with ordinances as law to measure, disclose, and benchmark their annual energy, and sometimes water, consumption using the EPA’s online tool, ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager.

Annual benchmarking has been found to reduce energy usage as it allows buildings to view how much energy they are currently using, identify ways to reduce energy use and costs, compare themselves with similar buildings, and track their improvements over time. In turn, when improvements are made, occupancy rates and property values have been found to increase.

New ordinances in 2018:

State of California

In September 2015, the State of California passed Assembly Bill 802, a law requiring the California Energy Commission to adopt regulations providing for public transparency of benchmarking energy use data for commercial and multifamily buildings. While details have not been finalized, it is anticipated that the initial reporting deadline will be June 1st, 2018 for non-residential buildings over 50,000 ft2. Goby will be monitoring any new developments.

Ontario, Canada

In February 2017, the Province of Ontario passed the Reporting of Energy Consumption and Water Use Regulation. July 1st is the annual deadline for compliance in Ontario, but deadlines will be phased over three years based on the property’s size. Commercial and industrial properties at least 250,000 ft2 must report energy and water usage by July 1st, 2018. In 2019, properties at least 100,000 ft2, including multifamily properties, must report by July 1st, and in 2020, properties over 50,000 ft2 must report by July 1st.

Orlando, Florida

In December 2016, the Orlando City Council unanimously passed the Orlando Building Energy and Water Efficiency Strategy. While city-owned properties greater than 10,000 ft2 have been required to comply with the ordinance since May 1st, 2017, non city-owned properties greater than 50,000 ft2 need to comply for the first time by May 1st, 2018. Additionally, starting in May 2020, buildings that score under the national average (ENERGY STAR score below 50) will be required to perform an energy audit or choose to perform a retro-commissioning of their base building systems once every 5 years.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

In October 2016, the City of Pittsburgh adopted the Pittsburgh Building Benchmarking Ordinance. By June 1st, 2018, owners of non-residential buildings greater than 50,000 ft2 must report their annual energy and water usage.

St. Louis, Missouri

In January 2017, the City of St. Louis passed the City of St. Louis Building Energy Awareness Ordinance. While municipal properties at least 50,000 ft2 were required to comply with the ordinance December 31st, 2017, 2018 is the initial year that privately owned buildings are required to comply with the ordinance. All privately owned and municipal buildings 50,000 ft2 or greater must benchmark and submit reporting of annual energy and water consumption by April 1st, 2018.

Ordinances updated in 2018:

Boulder, Colorado

The City of Boulder adopted the Boulder Building Performance Ordinance in October 2015, with the first rating and reporting of energy usage on June 1st, 2017 for existing buildings larger than 50,000 ft2, new buildings larger than 10,000 ft2, and city-owned buildings larger than 5,000 ft2. Large industrial campuses also have custom benchmarking requirements; you can learn more about these requirements here.

In 2018, the Boulder ordinance is updated to require existing buildings larger than 30,000 ft2 to report their energy usage by June 1st. Boulder also intends to introduce additional requirements in the coming years, including energy assessments and public disclosure, lighting upgrades and retro-commissioning, and implementation of retro-commissioning measures.

Denver, Colorado

The City of Denver adopted their Commercial and Multifamily Building Benchmarking Ordinance in 2016, with the first rating and reporting of energy usage on June 1st, 2017 for commercial and multifamily buildings larger than 50,000 ft2. In 2018, the Denver ordinance is updating to require commercial and multifamily buildings larger than 25,000 ft2 to report their annual energy usage by June 1st.

Evanston, Illinois

In December 2016, the Evanston City Council voted to approve the Evanston Building Energy and Water Use Benchmarking Ordinance. The first compliance deadline of June 30th, 2017 required buildings 100,000 ft2 or larger and municipally-owned buildings 10,000 ft2 or larger to report energy and water usage. In 2018, the Evanston ordinance is requiring buildings over 50,000 ft2 to report energy and water usage by June 30th, 2018. The Evanston ordinance will continue to expand in the future, with buildings 20,000 ft2 or more (excluding condominiums) required to report energy and water usage by June 30th, 2019.

Kansas City, Missouri

On June 4th, 2015, the City Council of Kansas City adopted the Energy Empowerment Ordinance. The first reporting deadline for institutional, commercial, industrial, and multifamily buildings exceeding 100,000 ft2 was May 1st, 2017. By May 1st, 2018, all institutional, commercial, industrial, and multifamily buildings larger than 50,000 ft2 must comply.

Los Angeles, California

The Los Angeles Energy and Water Efficiency program was officially established in December 2016. The first deadline for privately owned buildings larger than 100,000 ft2 was December 1st, 2017. In 2018, privately owned buildings greater than 50,000 ft2 must comply with the benchmarking ordinance by June 1st. The benchmarking requirements will expand further in 2019, with privately owned buildings greater than 20,000 ft2 required to comply.

New York, New York

Since 2012, the New York City Benchmarking Law has been requiring single buildings over 50,000 ft2 and groups of buildings on a single lot with combined area over 100,000 ft2 to comply with the benchmarking ordinance by reporting energy and water usage. In 2018, the benchmarking law is now requiring buildings 25,000 ft2 and larger to comply with the ordinance by May 1st.

Simplify your benchmarking compliance with Goby

Goby can manage your benchmarking submission process from start to finish for buildings that are required to comply.

  • Mitigate risks
  • Avoid fines and penalties
  • Save time with an automated and streamlined submission process
  • Eliminate the burden of manual data aggregation and reporting

Make sure to download Goby’s best practice guide for strategies to simplify and streamline your benchmarking compliance.

Download Guide

Kate Roberts

Kate joined Goby in September 2016 as an Energy Analyst, and has over 3.5 years of experience in the energy efficiency field. In the Energy Analyst role, Kate has assisted buildings in submitting for ENERGY STAR awards and compliance with benchmarking ordinances.

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