Seattle: building energy benchmarking initiative

Buildings of a certain size will be required to provide Energy Star performance data to the city and to prospective buyers.


The city of Seattle sent letters to more than 800 large commercial property owners and managers informing them about a new citywide program designed to help owners and managers assess and improve building energy efficiency and spur the market for building energy retrofits.

Under the new program, all commercial and multifamily residential buildings larger than 10,000 sq ft will be measured (benchmarked) for their energy performance using the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager. Building energy ratings will also be provided to the city and to prospective buyers, tenants and lenders upon request during real estate transactions. 

The program first applies this fall to nonresidential buildings 50,000 sq ft or larger and extends to both nonresidential and multifamily residential buildings 10,000 sq ft or larger next April 2012.

“Seattle’s buildings provide one of the greatest opportunities to generate energy savings and boost economic development for the city.  This new program will help building owners take a key step toward increasing building energy efficiency, which, in turn, helps lower operating costs, makes buildings more competitive and creates good local jobs,” said Diane Sugimura, Seattle’s department of planning and development director.

Read the full press release here.

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