The City of Philadelphia's Building Energy Benchmarking Plan

by ‐ Tags: benchmarking policy

This post was written by our intern, Stephanie Hyun

The compliance deadline for Philadelphia's benchmarking ordinance (Bill No. 120428) is coming up on June 30th!

Here's an overview of what you need to know about the law and how to comply with it.

As part of Philadelphia's Greenworks plan, the city enacted a new benchmarking ordinance that aims to reduce building energy use 10% by 2015 through benchmarking and public disclosure.

This law requires commercial buildings ≥ 50,000 sqft to benchmark and report their energy and water consumption to the city. Using the U.S. EPA's Portfolio Manager, property owners/managers will have to disclose their building's information by June 30 every year.

How to Benchmark and Report your Building

If you are new to benchmarking and have not yet set-up an account on Portfolio Manager, here are steps to help get you started:

1. Download the Benchmarking "How To Guide" for instructions on what information Portfolio Manager needs to comply with the ordinance's requirements
2. Setup an account on Portfolio Manager and record your energy and water consumption
3. Use the Philadelphia Custom Reporting Template to report your portfolio and be sure to include a Site EUI and Philadelphia Building ID for each building
4. Submit report to the city and your compliance is complete!

(Shameless plug: If this sounds complicated to you, consider getting in touch with us! WegoWise can automaticaly import your energy and water data and send the information over to Portfolio Manager. Click here to find out more.)

Updating Portfolio Manager

Remember that starting on June 30, each building will need to file an annual report to the city using Portfolio Manager. As a result, you will need to update your account every year with current energy and water usage data to remain compliant. Follow this link for a step-by-step on how to update your portfolio and report your information for the next year.

Filing an Exemption Request

While the ordinance applies to all commercial buildings ≥ 50,000 sqft, some buildings are exempt from the law. These exemptions include:
• Manufacturing/Industrial buildings that depend on process energy to produce their goods
• Buildings where benchmarking disclosure would cause exceptional hardship or damage
• Buildings where >50% of floor space is unoccupied for >180 days throughout the year

If your building falls under one of these requirements, you can fill out an exemption request form online or in print.

For more information or questions about the ordinance, please visit www.phillybuildingbenchmarking.com or contact benchmarkinghelp@phila.gov. 

Need to comply with Philly's energy disclosure ordinance? Talk to an expert to develop a plan for compliance.