New Portland benchmarking requirements could benefit building owners and trade allies

Last year, the City of Portland approved new requirements for owners of commercial buildings over 20,000 square feet to track and report energy use annually. The new policy impacts roughly 1,000 buildings and nearly 80 percent of the commercial space in Portland, and excludes residential properties, nursing homes, places of worship, parking structures, K-12 schools, industrial facilities or warehouses.

Energy Manager Today reported on a recent study in New York City that concludes that energy benchmarking works. The study showed that carbon emissions from 3,000 consistently benchmarked properties dropped by 8 percent from 2010 to 2013, and energy use decreased by 6 percent. Energy retrofits and upgrades are credited for much of the savings, along with owners being more aware of their building’s energy usage with benchmarking and making efforts to reduce costs.

Portland’s new benchmarking policy could provide more opportunities for trade allies to help building owners meet the city’s goal for the 80 percent emissions reduction by 2050, benefiting building owners and managers and the trade allies and companies that support and service Portland commercial buildings.

More information on the policy is available on the City of Portland’s website.