Location: Seattle, United States of America
Population: 608,660 (city area)
Funding sources: Public sector
City networks: C40
Savings: Energy consumption savings.
Solutions: Implementation of an ordinance that requires benchmarking and disclosure for non-residential and multifamily buildings 20,000 square feet (sf) or greater [source].
Multiple benefits: Reduce the carbon emissions in Seattle´s existing buildings.
The benchmarking programme was adopted in January 2010 as Ordinance 123226 (updated in 2012 as Ordinance 123993).
Objective – Assist building owners in reducing energy consumption and costs and thus taking part in the Climate Action Plan goals to decrease carbon emissions in Seattle’s existing buildings.
Solutions – The Seattle Building Energy Benchmarking and Reporting Program requires all residential and commercial buildings of 20,000 sq. ft. or larger to track energy performance annually, more specifically to gather building use details and actual energy use data for each building and report to the City (by April 1 each year) and publish upon request this information to current and prospective tenants, buyers or lenders.
Reporting is carried out through the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Funding – During the policy proposal phase (2007-08), the budget consisted of part-time contributions from different existing staff members in other departments. Subsequently, the overall budget composition for the implementation phase roughly relied on 75% grant funds, 15% city funding and 10% in penalty revenue.
Innovation – N/A
Success factors – 1) Political and stakeholder assistance. An essential driving force of success has been political support from the City’s Mayor, Council members, department directors, and stakeholder support in leading the establishment of the programme; 2) Funding. Another important driver was the assuring of funding from the Federal Government, local energy efficiency organisations and private foundations; 3) Existing knowledge base. Identifying the most suitable buildings to address was supported by the presence of a knowledge base on the residential and commercial stock in the City. This was based on the City-created database using data from the local tax assessor’s office; 4) Motivations of high compliance. Outreach and stakeholder engagement efforts are recognised as the main drivers leading to the high compliance rate; 5) Citywide energy reduction targets. The programme’s success has also been motivated by the wider City resolve since 2005 to reduce carbon emissions; 6) Inter-city exchanges. Sharing of best practices and mutual testing of different approaches with other municipalities seeking similar policies was very useful; 7) Utility support. Another important driver of the programme´s success was the support from utilities concerning data exchange.
- The programme has achieved a 93% compliance rate;
Synergies with local policies:
- The Seattle Climate Action Plan established in 2013, focuses on city actions that decrease greenhouse emissions and also assist vibrant neighbourhoods, economic prosperity, and social equity. Actions target the greatest need and impact areas: road transportation, building energy, and waste.
- Seattle Energy Code is a construction code that guarantees that new buildings are efficient from the start. Every three years, the City of Seattle updates the energy codes that govern commercial and multifamily buildings to make them even more effective and move toward a clean energy future.
- Clean Buildings bill (Chapter 285, Laws of 2019) aims to decrease costs and pollution from fossil fuel consumption in the state’s existing buildings, especially large commercial buildings. The law requires the Washington State Department of Commerce to elaborate and execute an energy performance standard for these buildings and provide incentives to promote efficiency improvements.
- National Action Plan for Energy Efficiency established in 2006 introduces policy recommendations for establishing a sustainable national compromise to energy efficiency through gas and electric utilities, utility regulators, and partner organisations.
- National Action Plan Vision for 2025: A Framework for Change intends to achieve all cost-effective energy efficiency by 2025 and introduces 10 implementation goals as a framework for advancing the Action Plan’s (National Action Plan for Energy Efficiency) five key policy recommendations.
- Energy Benchmarking and Disclosure is a market-based policy tool used to rise building energy performance awareness and transparency among key stakeholders and create demand for energy efficiency improvements.
- The 2016–2020 Strategic Plan and Implementing Framework from the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) sets the goal to create and sustain American leadership in the transition to a global clean energy economy. One of its four objectives is to enhance the energy efficiency of homes, buildings and industries.
Marketability: The benchmarking programme has a big potential for replicability among other cities.Link to resource
Country / Region: United StatesTags: corporate reporting, efficient construction of buildings, emissions, implementation, industrial benchmarking, pollution, regulators, roads, stakeholders, targets
In 1 user collection: Good practices of cities
Knowledge Object: User generated Initiative
Published by: Urban Efficiency I
Publishing year: 2022