The City of Seattle sent letters to over 800 commercial business owners recently marking the launch of a new program that aims to help building owners and managers measure and improve building energy efficiency and spur the market for building energy retrofits.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, buildings consume more than 70 percent of the electricity generated in the U.S. and could be made 30 to 50 percent more energy efficient with currently available products and services. This presents a tremendous opportunity for job creation and growth in the building energy services industry. However, if building owners and managers don’t know how much energy their building is using – and wasting – this opportunity may not be realized.
Measuring and rating or “benchmarking” a building’s energy use raises awareness of energy consumption and empowers building owners and managers to take control of their energy costs and make smart investments in the energy efficiency measures.
The City’s program will have building owners and managers of non-residential and multifamily buildings benchmark their energy use with the EPA’s free tool, ENERGY STAR portfolio manager. The building’s rating will be provided to the City and buyers, lenders and tenants upon request. Building larger than 50,000 sq. ft. will begin reporting by October 3, 2011 and those between 10,000 – 50,000 sq. ft., will start reporting annually next spring.