Seattle expands energy-efficiency program

Starting April 1, 2012, nonresidential owners of Seattle buildings of more than 10,000 sq ft will be required to participate in a benchmarking program designed to gauge energy output and encourage energy reduction.


The City of Seattle is sending letters to more than 8,000 business owners about its intentions to expand its energy efficiency program. The city hopes to reduce energy output and costs by using energy benchmarking, which is rating and measuring a building’s energy performance. The city hopes benchmarking will reduce overall energy costs by identifying methods for saving energy and recognizing methods that waste energy output.

Seattle has already implemented a plan for buildings of over 50,000 sq ft to report their energy performance. Starting April 1, 2012, nonresidential buildings over 10,000 sq ft and multi-family buildings with five or more units will be required to report their overall energy performance to the city.

Initiatives have already been taken to show business owners how they can save energy through workshops, webinars, and other hands-on training to make the process as seamless as possible when it officially goes into effect. Business owners will also be able to use the free online tool Energy Star Portfolio Manager and gauge how their building is performing compared to others. The city is also taking steps to make sure the information is compiled on an annual basis and is available to building tenants.

- Edited by Chris Vavra, Consulting-Specifying Engineer, 

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