This guide focuses on the key steps that cities should take to engage their energy and water utilities around the development and implementation of a building performance policy. When implementing a building performance policy, the city is an important voice to engage with the utility around what it looks like to create a robust local market for high-performing buildings. To help city staff develop a plan for engaging with their utilities, this guide includes a checklist of foundational and advanced steps cities should take. While this guide is focused around policies, there are many touchpoints for cities and utilities to work together, and much of the advice provided here is applicable to broader types of utility work.

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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