Energy Benchmarking in Seattle, Washington
Seattle's Energy Benchmarking Program (SMC 22.920) requires owners of non-residential and multifamily buildings (20,000 sf or larger) to track energy performance with ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager® and annually report to the City of Seattle by April 1st of each year. Benchmarking is a key part of actively managing your building's energy use. It lets you create a standard for comparing, measuring progress, and spotting potential problems.
Improving your building's energy use lowers your energy costs. It can also make tenants more comfortable through temperature control and lighting, increase rents and tenant retention, make your building more competitive in the market, increase its asset value, and lower operations and maintenance costs. Here are four low-to-no cost steps to start transforming your building today.
- Track performance with ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager and learn benchmarking best practices
- Walk through your building to identify waste and cost savers: Building Night Walk Video Series
- Identify systems that are under-performing: Symptom Diagnostic Tools
- Certify your building operators. Graduates help cut operating costs as much as $20,000 per year: theBOC.info
After tracking energy use and discovering the drivers of your building's usage, the next step is to create an investment strategy that looks at the whole building and integrated systems. Set an energy performance goal, form a team, allocate resources, and create a plan. Use these resources to reposition your building in the market and future-proof your building.
- Create an action plan: implement, track, and continuously improve: High Performance Portfolio Framework
- Assess your building's potential for a deep energy retrofit at Buildingrenewal.org and use the Spark Tool to create a free, customized report
- Engage with tenants through green leases, also known as high performance leases.
While nearly all benchmarking tools perform basic functions such as comparing energy use between buildings, some tools offer additional features that distinguish them from others.