September 12, 2013
In June of 2012, Philadelphia City Council unanimously passed Bill No. 120428, which requires energy benchmarking and reporting for large commercial buildings in the city. Starting this year, owners and managers of non-residential buildings 50,000 square feet or greater must annually track (or “benchmark”) their energy and water consumption using the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool and report that information to the City. The deadline for this process is October 31, 2013, with public disclosure of this data to follow in 2014.
Buildings that are affected should have already received a letter from the City of Philadelphia’s Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. If you haven’t received the letter, but believe your building is required to comply, you should still benchmark. Everything you need to get started is available on the City’s official benchmarking site, www.phila.gov/benchmarking.
Benchmarking provides detailed energy and water use information for a variety of buildings across Philadelphia, but more importantly it is a valuable tool to help owners and tenants save energy and money. Benchmarking assesses the energy and water use of each building and gauges its performance in relation to similar buildings in the marketplace. Both the public and private sector will use this benchmarking data when making decisions for commercial space. Benchmarking can also assist in identifying opportunities to improve building efficiency, reducing long-term utility costs.
The City is working with PIDC and The Reinvestment Fund to do just that through our EnergyWorks program, which offers low-cost financing for commercial buildings looking to improve their building through capital investments. Philadelphia’s utility partners have launched similar programs, including PECO’s “Smart Ideas” and PGW’s “EnergySense” program.
Already, dozens of buildings totaling nearly 12 million square feet of floor space have reported their benchmarking results to the City. If you have questions about benchmarking or the City of Philadelphia’s long-term sustainability initiatives, please contact .