June 21, 2012 | IMT

Washington, D.C. – June 21, 2012 – Today, the Philadelphia City Council unanimously passed legislation in order to establish a building energy benchmarking and disclosure requirement for all commercial buildings larger than 50,000 square feet, set to take effect June 1, 2013.

Sponsored by Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown, the bill requires energy and water benchmarking, and the subsequent disclosure of benchmarking results to the marketplace, making data on energy and water use available to potential tenants.

The legislation is modeled on similar laws that have been adopted by major U.S. cities such as New York and the District of Columbia. Officials in these cities believe that benchmarking catalyzes demand and competition for energy-efficient buildings, as building owners gain valuable information that enables them to reduce their energy costs as well as emissions.

The Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) commends Councilwoman Brown, the City of Philadelphia, the Nutter Administration, the Delaware Valley Green Building Council, and the Energy Efficient Buildings Hub (EEB Hub), among other organizations for working to pass this important piece of legislation.

“Greater Philadelphia has become one of the national leaders in pursuing sustainability and energy innovation efforts, and this legislation is another signal that Philadelphia plans to remain an innovator,” said Laurie Actman, Deputy Director of the Energy Efficient Buildings Hub, a U.S. Department of Energy Regional Innovation Cluster located in Philadelphia’s Navy Yard.

Actman said the EEB Hub plans to work with the City, PECO, and other utilities as well as building owners and service providers to implement the legislation in order to provide benefits and to create economic development opportunities and jobs.

"Philadelphia is showing great leadership in urban sustainability by passing this measure. Benchmarking buildings' energy use is the first, crucial step toward reducing it. Lower energy use means lower bills and reduced carbon emissions, so it's a win for businesses, consumers, and the environment,” said IMT’s Executive Director Cliff Majersik.

In 2012, IMT released a study (link) of the projected impacts of a national benchmarking and disclosure policy and estimated it would create more than 59,000 net new jobs and reduce energy costs for building owners, consumers, and businesses by approximately $18 Billion by 2020.

ABOUT IMT: The Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) is a Washington, DC-based nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting energy efficiency, green building, and environmental protection in the United States and abroad. Much of IMT's work addresses market failures that inhibit investment in energy efficiency. For more information, visit imt.org.

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