These documents present sample language that can be used by jurisdictions interested in drafting a comprehensive existing building performance policy that encompasses provisions for benchmarking, as well as additional actions beyond benchmarking. The model language, based on best practices that have been identified while working with many of the jurisdictions that have enacted successful policies, can be easily customized by policymakers to meet the unique needs of their city. The text has been annotated extensively to describe the rationale behind some of the recommendations and to provide additional background on some of the decision points. A companion document of the Model Ordinance Language for a Policy to Improve the Performance of Existing Buildings (without annotations) is also available for city use.

This resource is part of the City Energy Project Resource Library. Launched in 2019, the library is the culmination of 6+ years of work on the ground in 20 U.S. cities to reduce energy use in large buildings. The City Energy Project is a joint project of IMT and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). For more information, visit

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