Buildings & Energy

In Seattle, buildings are one of the largest and fastest growing sources of climate pollution, responsible for more than a third of our city's Greenhouse Gas emissions, with over 90% of these emissions resulting from burning fossil fuels like fracked gas for heat, hot water, and appliances. These emissions pollute our air and accelerate climate change, which disproportionately harms Seattle's Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities. For our health and resilience in the face of a changing climate, Seattle is committed to eliminating climate pollution and transitioning to 100% clean energy in our buildings and vehicles by 2050.  

To do this, Seattle must dramatically reduce fossil fuel use in buildings over the next decade. We must power more of our lives, homes, and buildings with clean energy - creating all-electric new construction and retrofitting older buildings to phase out polluting fossil fuels like gas and oil.  

We're committed to "Building Seattle Better". Learn more about this work in the links below. 

Energy Benchmarking

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Seattle's Energy Benchmarking Program requires owners of non-residential and multifamily buildings (20,000 sf or larger) to track energy performance and annually report to the City of Seattle.

Seattle Energy Code

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The City of Seattle recently updated the Seattle Commercial Energy Code, to take effect March 2021, as a cost-effective way for the City to prioritize building clean, fossil fuel-free buildings.

Heating Oil Law

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In order to reduce climate pollution, prevent soil and groundwater contamination, and improve air quality, Seattle has passed a law to help phase out oil heat by 2028.

Resources and Reports

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Resources and reports related to Seattle's buildings and energy programs and policies.

Building Tune-Ups

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Tune-ups aim to optimize energy and water performance by identifying low- or no-cost actions related to building operations and maintenance, that generate 10-15% in energy savings, on average.

Building Performance Standards

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Building performance standards are energy or emissions targets that existing buildings must meet over time, reducing climate impacts.

City Facilities

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The City of Seattle owns and maintains over 650 buildings and has adopted policies addressing new construction and major renovations, as well as day-to-day operations.

Sustainability and Environment

Jessyn Farrell, Director
Address: 700 5th Avenue, #1868, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 94729, Seattle, WA, 98124-4729
Phone: (206) 256-5158

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We collaborate with City agencies, business groups, nonprofit organizations, and other partners to protect and enhance Seattle's distinctive environmental quality and livability.