U.S. Cities Enact Building Efficiency Legislation

U.S. Cities Enact Building Efficiency Legislation

This piece was originally published in the January 2017 issue of electroindustry.

Patrick Hughes, Senior Director, Government Relations and Strategic Initiatives, NEMA

New Orleans

Over the course of two weeks in December, four cities became the newest additions to a diverse cadre of municipalities that have adopted building energy benchmarking and transparency policies.

Denver, Evanston (Illinois), Los Angeles, and Orlando joined more than 20 cities, counties, and states that now require large and public buildings to measure their energy performance with ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager and publicly disclose that information. This transparency encourages building owners with low energy scores to upgrade their buildings to remain competitive in the marketplace.

Studies have found that energy service companies in New York City and San Francisco reported a 30 percent increase in energy efficiency projects after benchmarking and transparency laws were put in place. In California, 62 percent of building owners that benchmarked their properties invested in energy-efficiency improvements, while 84 percent either planned on improving or had already improved their energy performance after benchmarking.

St. Louis

A separate survey conducted on behalf of NEMA found that 77 percent of New York City facility managers made changes to how they operate their buildings as a result of New York’s benchmarking policy, and 75 percent invested in new, energy-efficient equipment like lighting systems, building controls, heating and cooling systems, and plug-load controls.

NEMA has worked diligently over the past few years to support local building energy benchmarking and transparency ordinances, because they increase adoption of energy-saving technologies and support manufacturing jobs in the United States. Denver, Evanston, Los Angeles, and Orlando are leading examples of cities promoting energy efficiency in buildings as a way to boost their local economies, and we encourage all other cities, counties, and states to follow their lead.

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