Energy Benchmarking in Philadelphia

The Philadelphia City Council passed legislation in mid 2012 regarding energy benchmarking for non-residential buildings in Philadelphia.  The bill, entitled the Energy Benchmarking Bill, was created by Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown and co-sponsored by Councilman James F. Kenney.

The bill establishes a system of reporting electric, oil, natural gas, steam and water usage for non-residential buildings greater than 50,000 square feet.  Owners will be required to score their properties based on the Energy Star ranking system created by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

According to an article in the Philadelphia Business Journal, “commercial property owners who comply with the law will significantly reduce energy use and cost, increase sustainability, and gain a competitive advantage when it comes time to rent or sell. The Energy Benchmarking Law will make Philadelphia more competitive and more attractive to business development, and will contribute to job growth.”

Renters and buyers of properties will now be able to compare a building’s energy use with other similar buildings.  This will increase the incentive to create and sustain energy efficient facilities.  Additionally, owners of buildings will be able to see how and where their energy is being used.  This information can allow owners to develop energy strategies to reduce energy use and cost.

“Step by step, we are taking action to make Philadelphia the Greenest City in America,” said Councilwoman Reynolds Brown, Chair of City Council’s Committee on the Environment.  “Passage of this bill checks off yet another significant item of the Mayor’s Greenworks Philadelphia Agenda and moves us that much closer toward our collective goal—a more sustainable city and planet for our kids.”

The law went into effect in 2013.  The deadline has been moved from June 1, 2013 to October 31, 2013.  Failure to comply could result in a fine of $300 the first month the data is late, and a $100/day penalty following the initial 30 days.

The site used to enter the your facility’s information is the EPA Portfolio Manager. Click here for access to the “benchmarking starter kit”.

There is a free info session on the online tool used for reporting on July 10th and August 14th. For more information, click here.

EES can provide assistance to facilities that need to comply with this new benchmarking requirement.

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