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Building Energy Performance Disclosure Requirements - Coming to a City Near You


energy mappingBy Evan Tyroler, Vice President, Principal

An increasing number of jurisdictions have passed legislation mandating disclosure (in most cases publicly) of energy performance requirements for office buildings. These regulations require that a building owner/manager disclose either the ENERGY STAR score or a similar metric informing the market of its energy performance. Although we do not expect that high scores (more efficient) will demand higher rents or an increase in leasing activity, we do expect that the performance of lower scoring (less efficient) buildings will be questioned.

We anticipate that owners of all buildings, including lower scoring ones, will request more from management companies to improve their energy “grade,” and that smart investments may need to be made to improve overall performance.

Let’s take a closer look at current energy disclosure requirements:

Washington, DC – Clean and Affordable Energy Act of 2008 (CAEA)

By 2014 all privately owned commercial and multi-family buildings greater than 50,000 SF will need to be benchmarked in the EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager and annually disclosed through an online database. Although the legislation was signed into law in 2008 the regulations have yet to be finalized, however we anticipate buildings >150,000 SF will need to disclose their ratings before the end of 2012.

New York City – Local Law 84 (LL 84)

Mayor Bloomberg’s Greener, Greater Buildings Plan (GGBP) includes LL 84 which requires private buildings >50,000 SF to disclose their scores on an annual basis. In August the Mayor’s office released a report summarizing the findings and noted that the average score in New York City is a 64, which means, on average, the buildings are more efficient than 64% of buildings nationwide.

California – Assembly Bill 1103 (AB 1103)

Although AB 1103 does not necessitate public disclosure, it requires that an owner share the building’s energy information before sale, lease or financing of an entire building >5,000 SF. AB 1103 will go into effect in 2013 for buildings >50,000 SF with a requirement for all buildings to comply by 2014.

As the industry continues to recover and as we continue to focus on energy performance we expect more state and local governments will learn from the successes and failures of the aforementioned list and develop their own strategies and solutions to disclose and improve building energy performance. The industry will need to do a better job informing the market of the disclosed information because an educated market will truly be able to understand the value of the forthcoming information.

How do you think that the potential for public disclosure of energy performance will affect operations, management and leasing of office buildings?

describe the imageEvan joined Cassidy Turley in 2008 and has been an integral part in growing the sustainability and energy conservation efforts of the firm. Evan leads the Sustainability Services group responsible for overseeing the firm’s sustainability platform, including managing LEED projects as well as various energy conservation and sustainability measures. Frequently, Evan shares his in-depth knowledge of sustainability and energy efficiency through various speaking engagements across the country.