January 11, 2013 | Caroline Keicher

Anyone who has visited the IMT website before might already be aware of the fact that there are six U.S. cities (New York, Austin, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, DC, and recently Philadelphia) and two states (Washington and California) that now have laws on the books requiring energy performance in large commercial (and sometimes multifamily) buildings to be benchmarked and disclosed to the market.

While this may seem like a fairly straightforward requirement, it can bring up all sorts of questions from the folks required to do the benchmarking, and from the folks (energy services companies) who want others (building owners) to hire them to do the benchmarking — questions about bureaucratic-sounding things like qualifying size threshold and acquisition of energy consumption data.

These laws can also inspire less bureaucratic-sounding sentiments, like “How the heck do I use this benchmarking program” (ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager)? That’s where the wonderful people of the Seattle and New York City benchmarking help centers have come to the rescue, with a reservoir of useful answers and advice for building owners, managers, and other affected parties.

Because the centers have proven to be so useful, IMT decided it would be a worthy endeavor to gather up all of their wisdom – not only about those answers they so helpfully doled out – but also about how they established their help centers in the first place, and how another city might go about setting up a help center of their very own while avoiding some of the pitfalls experienced by those that have gone before.

All of this information is contained in a neat guide that you should read — especially if you’re a local government official thinking about how much you’d like to have a benchmarking and disclosure ordinance in your city or town.

Wouldn’t it be great if you had a concise report to guide you through the help center creation process, complete with charts and graphs and timelines? We thought so, too.

Program Area(s):

Real Estate

Meet the Author

Caroline Keicher

Former Manager of City Engagement, City Energy Project

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