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City of Seattle
Ed Murray, Mayor

SUBJECT: City of Seattle Hosts Open House on Building Energy Rating and Reporting Ordinance

3/15/2011  1:57:00 PM

City of Seattle Hosts Open House on Building Energy Rating and Reporting Ordinance

(Seattle, WA) -The Seattle Department of Planning and Development is hosting an open house this Thursday, March 17, for building owners and others interested in learning more about the City's building energy benchmarking and reporting ordinance. Partner organizations will be on hand to share resources available to help building owners lower energy use and costs.

The Open House will take place from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Bertha Landes Room at City Hall on 600 5th Avenue. Presentation will be provided at 5:30 p.m.

Energy used in buildings accounts for almost 26% of the greenhouse gas emissions produced in Seattle. Much of that energy goes wasted because buildings aren't as efficient as they could be. As a result, many building owners and tenants are spending far more on energy than necessary.

The City aims to help owners and tenants reel in energy use and costs, and reduce their environmental impacts, and has a number of green building and energy efficiency programs and policies in place. One such policy is the Energy Disclosure Ordinance, passed last year, which requires commercial property owners to annually measure and rate — or "benchmark" — the energy performance of their buildings and provide these ratings to interested buyers and renters. The legislation puts in place a process whereby utilities will upload complete energy consumption data to a single common record for each building owner via an automated process, eliminating one of the biggest challenges owners have faced when trying to understand how their building is performing.

"This program will provide building owners with easily accessible information on how their buildings are performing compared to industry norms to guide their energy efficiency investments," said Jayson Antonoff, Energy Disclosure program manager. "Tenants, buyers and lenders can also use this information when considering where to buy, lease or invest in a space similar to how consumers consider MPG ratings when buying a car."

Benchmarking is a standardized way for owners to evaluate a building's energy use. Many Seattle building owners already benchmark their properties using a free, online benchmarking tool from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency called Energy Star Portfolio Manager — the same tool that the city is requiring all owners to use.

"Benchmarking has been the biggest boon to track exactly what properties are spending on energy and be able to share this with our clients and show them what upgrades can be made," said Dave Low, director of sustainability practices for Kidder Mathews, a commercial real estate firm that manages 300 buildings in the Puget Sound area. "This has helped building owners lease and sell their buildings."

Open house attendees will learn about the many programs, rebates and other financial incentives available to help owners improve building efficiency.

"We welcome the opportunity to take part in this important event to help Seattle property owners improve building energy efficiency," said Glenn Atwood, City Light's conservation resources director. "There are many programs, services and financial incentives available to owners to help lower energy use and cut operating costs. City Light experts are available to help our customers find ways to start saving today."

Exhibitors include:

  • Seattle City Light
  • Puget Sound Energy
  • Seattle Steam
  • City Green Building
  • 2030 District
  • Integrated Design Lab
  • Seattle Climate Partnership
  • Northwest Energy Efficiency Council
  • NEEA/BetterBricks
  • Community Power Works
  • South Seattle Community College

For more information, contact Rebecca Baker: 206.615.1171;

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Department of Planning and Development

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