Here's another update from the Energy Coordinating Agency on trends in energy efficiency in Philly.
Last year Philadelphia adopted a city ordinance requiring that commercial buildings benchmark and disclose their energy and water use on an annual basis. Thus Philadelphia joins the growing number of cities across the country like New York and Seattle which are working to improve the energy efficiency of commercial spaces and helping save their owners and tenants millions of dollars a year in lower operating costs.
The Energy Benchmarking ordinance requires that all commercial spaces including universities, schools, and hospitals over 50,000 square feet must benchmark their energy and water consumption using EPA’s free software, Portfolio Manager by October 31, 2013. Next year this information will be made available to the public and will be provided at time of sale.
Here’s how Benchmarking works. At least a years’ worth of utility data, along with other building characteristics like square footage and number of computers is entered into EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager Tool online. Next the building is compared to a group of peer buildings across the country. Because it would be unfair to compare the heating costs of an office building in Boston to one in Tucson, modeling software on the backend takes into account the difference in heating and cooling requirements based on climate, use and location. At the end of the process an Energy Star score is generated, which shows how one building compares to other buildings of the same type, size and location.