Cambridge Joins Chicago, NYC With Energy Benchmarking Requirement


by | Jul 30, 2014

cambridge-mass-shutterstockCommercial, multifamily and municipal building owners in Cambridge, Mass., will be required to annually benchmark and report their properties’ energy performance in an effort to cut energy waste, lower utility bills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Building Energy Usage and Disclosure Ordinance was passed unanimously by the City Council of Cambridge on Monday. Boston, Austin, Chicago, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, New York City, Seattle, San Francisco and Washington D.C. have passed similar ordinances.

The ordinance is directed as commercial and institutional buildings that are 25,000 square feet or larger in size, along with multifamily buildings that have 50 or more units. Municipal buildings more than 10,000 square feet in size are also included in the ordinance. Owners of these types of properties must annually benchmark and report to city their energy use, water consumption and building information via the EPA’s Portfolio Manager tool.

Last year, New York City released energy data for all buildings required to annually benchmark under its Local Law 84. This second annual energy-use report is the first in the nation to publicly disclose data for large multifamily buildings. With more than 9,000 self-reported multifamily properties, the new data set effectively more than triples the size of the first year’s list.

The data comes from mandatory energy benchmarking in more than 26,000 buildings that are over 50,000 square feet. The data, which accounts for about 2.25 billion square feet of space, is input into the EPA’s Portfolio Manager software and provides an Energy Star score for buildings.

Image of Cambridge from Shutterstock

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