You Can’t Manage what you Don’t Measure
Cities around the US are adopting energy benchmarking ordinances geared at assessing the energy performance and efficiency of commercial buildings. Chicago is the most recent city to introduce an energy benchmarking ordinance which would require buildings over 50,000 sq. ft. to track and verify their energy consumption.
As the saying goes, you can’t manage what you don’t measure. By tracking water and energy use via the EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool, property managers can identify the biggest sources of energy inefficiency. This analysis then enables targeted improvements and investments that have the largest ROI for energy efficiency.
Public disclosure of the data introduces a social layer to this ordinance. Transparency is creating an added sense of responsibility and motivation for property owners to do their part in reducing the carbon footprint of each city.
According to city officials, energy benchmarking is one part of the larger initiative to reduce their carbon footprint. The first round of cities to implement an energy benchmarking including Washington D.C. and New York, have begun releasing the data and are now investing in community outreach and training on how to leverage this data for positive improvements.