Some building owners in Atlanta and Portland recently received the news that tracking and reporting on their structures’ energy use is now a mandatory requirement, approved by City Councils in the respective cities. In Atlanta, the new regulations apply to all privately or city-owned buildings over 25,000 square feet, while in Portland, the reporting rules apply to commercial buildings with more than 20,000 square feet.
While tracking, measuring and reporting building energy use can be a daunting task, it pays dividends for building owners and the cities in which they are located. The Atlanta City Council projects that the new Commercial Buildings Energy Efficiency Ordinance, which affects more than 2,000 buildings, will result in a 20 percent reduction in commercial energy consumption and cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50 percent by 2030. Portland’s goal is to cut carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050 and estimates that by simply looking at the reporting data, the approximately 1,000 building owners that are affected by the new rules can cut energy use by 7 percent.
Atlanta and Portland join about a dozen other large cities across the country where there are mandates for selected commercial buildings to track and report energy use. Ecova has established a regulatory compliance page on our website, which is updated monthly with new requirements from various cities around the country. You may also sign up to receive regulatory updates via email.
There are a number of steps businesses must complete in order to comply with city mandates, including:
- Collecting all building site attributes
- Collecting all utility billing information
- Navigating and uploading the information to ENERGY STAR’s Portfolio Manager®
- Submitting the information to the respective municipality
Ecova can help you automate the benchmarking process and eliminate the potential for human error. Using the audited data collected during Utility Bill Processing and Analysis, we provide a direct data feed to ENERGY STAR’s Portfolio Manager. We are the industry leading ENERGY STAR® data exchange service provider, benchmarking more than 70,000 buildings each month for our clients. This experience—along with our regulatory reporting expertise and big data warehouse—allows us to provide a simple and easy process for meeting regulatory requirements. The cost of not reporting can be steep, resulting in significant fines and penalties, ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars.