Minneapolis Considers Energy Benchmarking for Commercial Buildings

Minneapolis, Minn. may become the first Midwest city to adopt an energy benchmarking and disclosure rule for commercial buildings, Midwest Energy News reports.

Last week, the Minneapolis City Council’s energy and environment committee approved a proposal to require large commercial building owners to measure and report energy consumption data on an annual basis. The full council is slated to discuss the ordinance Feb. 8.

The new policy would work like this: building owners would use Energy Star’s free Portfolio Manager reporting software, which, between 2008 and 2011 helped 35,000 buildings realized an average annual savings of 2.4 percent with a total savings of 7 percent, according to EPA.

The city would disclose data on its own buildings in 2013, while commercial buildings would have more time to comply with reporting requirements. Only commercial buildings larger than 100,000 square feet would need to disclose data in 2014, and in 2015 the program would extend to 50,000-square-foot buildings.

City officials would wait one year to publish the first results to give building owners time to make energy-efficiency improvements.

The news service says the proposal would cover 630 buildings, or about 75 percent of the city’s total commercial square footage.

In late January, the District of Columbia finalized regulations requiring all large private buildings to benchmark their energy and water performance annually. The new policy requires building owner to use Energy Star Portfolio Manager software for benchmarking and reporting.

Similarly, large building owners in New York City must file mandatory benchmarking reports in compliance with the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan (GGBP), which targets energy efficiency in these large existing buildings.

New York City’s first Energy Benchmarking Report published last year found some anomalies where some old structures, such as the Chrysler Building, have higher Energy Star scores than some newer so-called “green” buildings. The city is assessing the factors that caused surprising results.

Photo Credit: AlexiusHoratius



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One thought on “Minneapolis Considers Energy Benchmarking for Commercial Buildings

  1. It is very encouraging and exciting to learn about the Leadership Initiatives of many large cities in the USA re Aggressive approach to Reducing Energy Consumption in Commercial Buildings. One of the pioneering work in this critical field has been vigorously pursued by the City of Seattle through its Green Buildings program. May be these large cities through the National League of Cities(NLC) and/or the Conference of Mayors should periodically inform the urban citizenry of their accomplishments in both the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Technologies fields that help with the Buildings Energy Programs’ implementations. Thanks. Sincerely, Dr. Arun Jhaveri, former First Mayor of the new Sustainable City of Burien, Washington State; former Regional Manager of the U. S. Department of Energy in Seattle; Member of the City of Seattle Mayor’s Green Buildings Task Force; and Senior Energy Adviser & Consultant and Certified Sustainable Development Professional @ 206-920-4851

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