2020 benchmarking updates – New & updated ordinances

Industry News Sustainability Reporting
  • February 21, 2020 | Chris Ogletree
2020 benchmarking updates – New & updated ordinances

2020 Benchmarking: New & updated ordinances

As of 2020, there are more than 30 benchmarking ordinances in effect across North America. Several of these ordinances were newly introduced for the 2020 benchmarking season, while several have expanded their compliance criteria to cover additional building types or larger ranges of building sizes compared to the previous year.

Utility benchmarking ordinances are a tool for cities, states, and provinces to help reach environmental impact reduction goals, such as decreased utility use and lower greenhouse gas emission levels. They also help building owners and managers understand their buildings’ consumption and allow them to compare their performance against that of similar properties. Benchmarking compliance requires building owners to report their annual energy and, in some cases, water consumption using the EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool.

As was mentioned in a previous informational webinar, the EPA updated the ENERGY STAR scoring metrics in August 2018. Many buildings experienced drops in scores due to the national building stock becoming more energy efficient in recent years. The update was part of the EPA’s initiative to ensure that the dataset and scoring metrics reflect current market performance.

New 2020 benchmarking ordinances

Fort Collins, CO – The City of Fort Collins, Colorado’s Building Energy and Water Scoring program requires transparency of the energy and water efficiency of the largest multifamily and commercial buildings. Commercial buildings, including city-owned buildings, with a gross floor area equal or greater than 20,000 square feet need to report by March 1st, 2020.

Reno, NV – Buildings that are owned, leased, and occupied by the City of Reno, Nevada, such that the city regularly pays all or part of the annual energy and/or water bills and have a total gross floor area that equals or exceeds 10,000 square feet need to submit by April 1, 2020. All buildings owned by a local agency of the state that have a gross floor area that exceeds or equals 30,000 square feet and must submit by April 1st, 2020.

Des Moines, IA – The Des Moines, Iowa City Council passed the Energy and Water Benchmarking Ordinance, requiring owners of buildings 25,000 square feet or larger to benchmark their energy and water usage and submit by May 1st, 2020.

Updated 2020 benchmarking ordinances

Portland, ME – The City of Portland, Maine now requires buildings to submit benchmarking data by May 1st, 2020, instead of the prior deadline of June 1st.

Ontario, Canada – Ontario’s reporting of energy consumption and water use requires buildings 50,000 square feet and over to report their data by July 1st, 2020.

Boulder, CO – The City of Boulder, Colorado requires buildings 20,000 square feet or larger to report their energy usage by June 1st, 2020.

Minneapolis, MN – In Minneapolis, Minnesota, residential buildings 50,000 square feet or greater must also benchmark their water and energy consumption to be submitted by June 1st, 2020.

Salt Lake City, UT – Salt Lake City, Utah now requires commercial buildings above 25,000 square feet to benchmark and report energy usage by May 1st, 2020. Less efficient buildings that are eligible for utility-sponsored energy tune-up incentives will be required to participate in the incentive programs once every 5 years beginning in 2020.

San Diego, CA – The City of San Diego, California requires property owners and operators of commercial, multi-family, and mixed-use properties greater than 50,000 square feet (for multi-family and mixed-use properties with more than 17 units) to report and benchmark energy usage before June 1st, 2020.

Benchmark with the best of them

Many districts, cities, and states across the US have implemented mandatory benchmarking ordinances for properties in an effort to reduce energy usage and environmental impacts of the real estate industry. Download our best practice guide for strategies to simplify and streamline your benchmarking compliance.

Learn more

Chris Ogletree

Chris joined Goby in 2016, and as Inbound Marketing Manager oversees generation and development of a wide range of content, such as email campaigns, social media, website administration, and marketing collateral, as well as supporting improvements to the design & functionality of the Goby platform.

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