This spring, Portland City Council will consider a new policy that would require owners of commercial buildings over 20,000 square feet to track their building’s energy use and report it on an annual basis. The proposed policy would cover nearly 80 percent of the commercial square footage, affecting approximately 1,000 buildings — less than 20 percent of Portland’s commercial buildings.
Renee Loveland, sustainability manager at Gerding Edlen, told the Portland Tribune that “the policy is a great step in the right direction.” Other coverage of the policy proposal includes a story from The Oregonian and the Portland Business Journal .
What’s this about?
The proposed Energy Performance Reporting Policy would require commercial buildings to track energy performance with a free online tool called ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager and report energy use information to the City of Portland on an annual basis. There are nearly 5,000 commercial buildings in Portland and fewer than 100 claim ENERGY STAR certification.
Why is the City proposing this policy?
- The energy used to power buildings is the largest source of carbon pollution in Portland.
- Similar to a MPG rating for a new car, the energy performance policy would allow potential tenants and owners to have access to important information about building energy performance.
- Commercial energy reporting policies in 10 other U.S. cities have proven to motivate investment in efficiency improvements that save money and reduce carbon emissions.
“The proposed policy will build awareness in the commercial building sector about energy performance,” said Bureau of Planning and Sustainability Director Susan Anderson. “Energy-efficient buildings are a win for the building owner, the tenant and for Portland’s carbon reduction goals.”
The proposed policy covers offices, retail spaces, grocery stores, hotels, health care and higher education buildings. It does not include residential properties, nursing homes, places of worship, parking structures, K-12 schools, industrial facilities or warehouses.
Two events in early January offered businesses affected by the proposal a chance to ask questions, provide feedback and to understand next steps. Staff from the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability will continue to work with stakeholders from the real estate and development community to refine the policy before consideration by Portland City Council in spring, 2015.
When would the proposed policy go into effect?
- Commercial buildings larger than 50,000 square feet would be required to begin reporting in 2016.
- Commercial buildings between 20,000 and 50,000 square feet would begin reporting in 2017.
Visit www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/energyreporting to learn more, provide feedback and sign up for policy updates.