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Pennsylvania Brownfields & Environmental Law Information and Developments in Brownfields and Pennsylvania Environmental Law

PHILADELPHIA JOINS BUILDING ENERGY BENCHMARKING

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On October 31, 2013, the first step of Philadelphia’s building energy benchmarking begins and may require you to take action.  Energy benchmarking is a method to measure and compare energy performances of buildings.  It provides a standard to compare the energy efficiency of similar buildings, like the miles per gallon number used by cars. 

Under the new law, any commercial building owner or manager with indoor floor space of 50,000 square feet or more, or any owner or manager of a mixed-use building where the commercial portion is at least 50,000 square feet, must register information regarding the use of utilities for the building. 

The requirements begin with the entry of information on EPA’s EnergyStar Portfolio Manager System.  The EnergyStar Portfolio Manager is an online tool available at www.energystar.gov/buildings. 

EnergyStar Portfolio Manager requires entry of information regarding the building’s energy expenses, its water efficiency and its carbon emissions.  Building owners enter information from billings on energy meters and water meters.  The Manager then calculates an EnergyStar rating for the building. 

Philadelphia will create a registry of information for all the buildings subject to the new ordinance.  A prospective purchaser or lessee, upon request, may get a copy of the statement of Energy Performance that is generated by the Portfolio Manager.  Also, the public will have access to the newly created database.  The ordinance is intended to allow tenants, prospective purchasers, lessees and the public to compare the energy profiles of large buildings in the City. 

Failure to comply with the ordinance is subject to a fine and penalties, calculated on a daily basis.