The Seattle City Council made recent changes to that City’s nationally leading energy performance disclosure ordinance, see document below. The City of Seattle adopted this building energy benchmarking and disclosure requirement as one of only 5 cities across the country that requires this type of market transparency for building energy performance. City Council action made changes to the building size threshold for reporting (established a lower limit of 20,000 sf) as well as changed the deadline for some reporting dates. The Council also established the process by which fines will be assessed for those buildings who miss their compliance dates. A summary of the previous and new requirements are included in the table.
NEEC is a strong proponent of energy performance disclosure and has supported this policy initiative at both state and municipal levels. While the State of Washington currently has a statute which requires a similar type of disclosure, there is little evidence that property owners are completing benchmarks or disclosing that information to prospective buyers, lenders, or lessees. The reason is apparently the lack of any enforcement mechanism at the state level (there is no compliance reporting to the state nor a fine for non-compliance) as well as a lack of understanding by interested parties that they can ask for this information during a real estate transaction. NEEC continues to advocate both for changes to the disclosure statute in Washington State and the adoption of effective energy performance disclosure (both residential and commercial) in the State of Oregon.