Why Benchmarking Is Required

Why Benchmarking is Required in Seattle

This policy supports Seattle's 2030 goals in the Climate Action Plan to reduce energy use by 10% in commercial buildings and by 20% in residential buildings.

Benefits include:

  • Showing property owners and managers how their buildings are using - and wasting - energy. Benchmarking is a first step towards lowering energy costs and staying competitive.
  • Helping businesses and consumers make more informed decisions that take actual energy costs into account when buying or renting property.
  • Lowering energy costs to owners and tenants, reducing greenhouse gas impacts, and creating jobs in the energy services and construction trades.
  • Establishing energy performance ranges for Seattle building types based on their reported 2012 energy use to help owners see how their building's energy use stacks up to their peers.
  • Allowing the City to track its energy reduction goals and target incentive dollars by market sector.  

Seattle is one of a growing number of cities with benchmarking laws, including New York City, Washington DC, San Francisco, Chicago, Austin, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, and Boston. The states of Washington and California also have disclosure policies. Buildingrating.org summarizes current programs. In 2013, the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy noted Seattle's benchmarking program when it ranked Seattle 5th in the nation for policies and programs advancing energy efficiency.  

More Benchmarking Information

Director's Rule and Municipal Code