This guide helps cities launch and implement a benchmarking program that tracks building energy consumption and deploys the data to encourage building owners to improve building energy efficiency, saving money and vitalizing a city. It is also for cities that have enacted ordinances requiring owners of certain types of buildings to report the building’s annual energy consumption and assigns a degree of necessity to each task. Cities should understand that steps they “must” take are essential to establishing a benchmarking policy that transforms their market by tracking and publicizing building energy consumption to accelerate action.

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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