“To date, more than 11 billion square feet, 15% of the U.S. commercial building floorspace, is covered by an energy benchmarking and disclosure policy.”
The topics discussed in this article were the focus of an Energy Management Association (EMA) webinar.
View the webinar here.
These local and state level ordinances are an established and growing strategy for governments to understand building energy and water use, establish their greenhouse gas footprints from energy use, and to develop strategies to achieve energy and water use and emissions reductions. With that in mind, you may want to know what these requirements are, what markets are they in, and how these initiatives are evolving. The increase in the scope of benchmarking laws also encompasses water tracking, with more than 20 jurisdictions now requiring that water use data be submitted to Portfolio Manager. The increase in the scope of benchmarking laws also encompasses water tracking, with more than 20 jurisdictions now requiring that water use data be submitted to Portfolio Manager.
Another policy trend for jurisdictions that are seeking to drive deeper reductions is building performance standards. Building performance standards require that buildings owners implement building improvements until they meet defined levels of energy or GHG performance. Often these laws include multiple cycles with standards that ratchet up required performance over time, aligning with long-term GHG reduction targets. Currently, Washington State, Colorado, DC, NYC, St. Louis, Boston, and Chula Vista, CA, have enacted building performance standards, and it is worth noting that quite a few other state and local governments are considering similar requirements.
Certainly, the increase in scope of the laws is a trend but perhaps the biggest trend is toward the laws increasing in building coverage and the overall number of laws being passed. Several jurisdictions have updated their laws to incorporate more buildings typically by lowering the square footage threshold or adding a new property type (often multifamily properties).