Private Sector Pressure Threatens to Water Down Md. County Benchmarking Bill

mocoConcerns voiced about a proposed energy benchmarking bill by the real estate sector in a county in suburban Washington, DC, have led to changes that favor the private sector, reports the Washington Business Journal.

Introduced as part of a package of green bills aimed at forcing the private sector in Montgomery County, Md., to reduce its energy use, the energy benchmarking and auditing bill, as currently drafted, would require the largest commercial and residential buildings to meet a benchmarking requirement almost immediately. It would also mandate that building owners have their buildings’ energy use audited in a bid to encourage lower energy use, the news site reports.

But in response to concerns raised by the real estate sector, bill author Councilman Roger Berliner is considering redrafting the bill to delay the first private benchmarking submissions by 18 months and applying benchmarking requirements only to nonresidential buildings, the news site reports.

Large private commercial buildings in the District of Columbia score, on average, 77 out of 100 on the Energy Star scale, according to published data on the energy and water performance of more than 450 of the city’s largest privately owned buildings, covering over 160 million square feet. The data, which include energy and water consumption of large commercial and multifamily buildings for 2012 and 2011, resulted from mandatory energy benchmarking.

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