Atlanta Passes Energy Benchmarking and Audit Policy for Large Commercial Buildings

The city council has unanimously passed a comprehensive energy and water efficiency policy that will reduce energy use in large buildings, drive down carbon emissions, and create more transparency in the real estate market. The ordinance contains required annual benchmarking and transparency, as well as required audits every ten years and voluntary retrocomissioning.

Logistically, participating buildings will be phased into benchmarking compliance. Municipal buildings over 10,000 square feet and non-city covered buildings over 50,000 square feet will be required to submit their 2014 benchmarking data through ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager this year. While the 2014 municipal building performance data will be shared with the public, the 2014 data from the non-city buildings will not. This allows private building owners the opportunity to examine their first-year performance and make improvements if they choose. Beginning in September 2016, and every year afterwards, the benchmarking data from the previous year (i.e. the 2015 data during the 2016 compliance cycle) will be publicly shared for buildings with an ENERGY STAR score over 50. Buildings performing below average will not have their exact scores published, but it will be public that those buildings have complied with the ordinance. Private sector buildings between 25,000 square feet and 50,000 square feet will comply for the first time in 2017.

 

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