Why Are Benchmarking Disclosure Laws So Important?

Greentech Media – Building energy disclosure laws are picking up momentum as they are adopted in cities throughout the United States. These laws are increasingly being shown to result in energy efficiency improvements. In this podcast by the Energy Gang, Cliff Majersik, the executive director of the Institute for Market Transformation, discusses the reasons for these improvements and the long-term impacts of building energy disclosure laws on energy consumption, real estate, and market transparency. Listen to the podcast.

Rebates for Energy Efficiency Upgrades Available from the Georgia Cities Foundation

http://www.EnergyManagerToday.com – Soon rebates for energy efficiency improvements will be made available to any city in the State of Georgia’s downtown area. Rebates will range from $25,000 to $100,000, accounting for 25% of pre-approved upgrade costs. Rebate funds are available to commercial, mixed-use, and multifamily buildings for projects such as lighting and HVAC upgrades. Projects must achieve a minimum improvement of 20% reduction in energy use and have a return on investment of ten years or less, as well as comply with ENERGY STAR, LEED, or EarthCraft certification standards. Full article.

Mayor of Atlanta to Attend Paris Climate Talks

WABE – Mayor of Atlanta Kasim Reed, who has set a goal to make Atlanta a national leader in energy policy and a top-tier city for sustainability, will attend the international climate talks in Paris this November. The United Nations is gathering an international group of representatives from government, academia, and business to discuss how to address climate change. In recognition of the important role that cities will play in addressing climate change, Mayor Reed is one of a dozen US mayors being sent to the conference by a group of nonprofits. The City of Atlanta is a leader in sustainability, as demonstrated through its active participation in the Better Buildings Challenge, its implementation of the Commercial Buildings Energy Efficiency Ordinance, its addition of electric vehicles to the City’s fleet, its investments in bicycle infrastructure, and its sustainability standards for new City-owned buildings. Read full article.

The Growing Link Between Energy Efficiency and Economic Development

Governing.com – It makes abundant sense for any city — large or small — to focus a significant part of its economic-development efforts on energy management for the buildings that are home to its businesses and industries. More and more, cities around the globe are using this strategy as they work to attract and retain valued businesses and the jobs and tax revenue they bring. Click here for full article.

Atlanta Offers Grace Period for Commercial Buildings to Meet Benchmarks

Atlanta Journal-Constitution – The City of Atlanta is offering a grace period for commercial building owners who missed the July deadline to submit energy and water benchmarking data. The grace period ends on Sept. 21.

Passed in April, the Commercial Buildings Energy Efficiency Ordinance requires private and municipal buildings over 50,000 square feet to submit annual energy and water use data to the city. The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability expects benchmarking to improve energy efficiency, spur job creation, and reduce buildings’ carbon emissions. Click here for full article.

USGBC highlights Atlanta’s leadership on Energy Efficiency

The US Green Buildings Council has just published a feature on Atlanta’s commercial building energy efficiency efforts. The article highlights Atlanta’s ordinance, which strives to bring better data and increased attention to resource use in the buildings space, along with realizing the private sector monetary savings, the public health improvements, and the overall sustainability benefits of energy efficiency. To read the article, click here.

Mayor’s Office of Sustainability Reminds Commercial Building Owners to Meet July Benchmarking Deadline

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 13, 2015

News Release

Mayor’s Office of Sustainability Reminds Commercial Building Owners to Meet July Benchmarking Deadline

Building owners must submit energy use data through Energy Star Portfolio Manager by July 20

ATLANTA – The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability reminds commercial building owners to meet the upcoming energy benchmarking data submission deadline of Monday, July 20.

Passed in April, the Commercial Buildings Energy Efficiency Ordinance (15-O-1101) requires private and City-owned buildings over 50,000 square feet in size to benchmark and report their energy use annually to the City of Atlanta.

Utilizing the data collected, building owners will complete an energy audit once every 10 years. An energy audit is a detailed assessment of how a building could improve its performance through upgrading its equipment and systems. In addition, building performance data collected under the benchmarking initiative will be made transparent to the public to allow the market to recognize, reward, and drive increased demand for high-performing buildings and to focus programmatic efforts.

“Atlanta’s commercial buildings are leading the way for energy and water conservation. With this new ordinance, we have added a vital tool to the toolbox which will enable both privately and publicly-owned buildings to continue their strong track record of conservation,” said Stephanie Stuckey-Benfield, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability for the City of Atlanta. “We anticipate that benchmarking will spur the creation of jobs in energy efficiency and will cut carbon emissions from building operations.”

Building representatives can determine if a property is required to benchmark this year by visiting www.atlantabuildingefficiency.com and clicking on the “How to Comply” tab. Failure to comply with this year’s benchmarking submission requirement will result in a fine of $1,000 per property.

All covered properties were issued notification letters that included assistance resources and the upcoming deadline this past June. Since the ordinance’s adoption, more than 270 building professionals have been trained on the new law.

The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability has created a number of online and in-person resources in addition to the building efficiency website, including a live help desk operated by Southface and a free Energy Star Portfolio Manager training series hosted by the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) of Georgia and Southface.

The Southface Helpdesk offers support via one-on-one consultation to owners and operators needing assistance with benchmarking. The Helpdesk can be reached at (404) 604-3665, or by email at benchmarkhelp@southface.org.
About the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Sustainability:
The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability is focused on embedding sustainability best practices into Atlanta city government and across the community. For more information about Atlanta’s efforts to create a more sustainable city, please visit the Office of Sustainability’s page at http://p2catl.com. Follow the Office of Sustainability on Facebook and Twitter @ATLSustainable.