Philadelphia releases results of first-year building energy reporting

April 23, 2014

Elise Brown, LevLane


Reporting deadline for 2013 energy usage is June 30, 2014

PHILADELPHIA (APRIL 17, 2014): The City of Philadelphia announced partial results of first-year energy usage reporting by owners or operators of large commercial buildings. With more than 86 percent of the buildings covered under the ordinance reporting, Philadelphia’s portfolio of buildings achieved an average Energy Star score of 64, significantly exceeding the national average score of 50.

“With the Benchmarking Law and our Greenworks plan, we will continue to be a national leader when it comes to energy efficient buildings. The report released today proves we are achieving significant positive outcomes through our hard work and commitment,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “Philadelphia is dedicated to becoming a greener, cleaner, more sustainable city and our ENERGY STAR rating, above the national median, shows that we are succeeding in those goals.”

The Building Energy Benchmarking Law, passed by City Council and signed by Mayor Nutter in 2012, requires building owners and operators with more than 50,000 square feet of indoor floor space (or mixed-use buildings where at least 50,000 square feet of indoor space is devoted to commercial use) to report annual energy and water consumption, using the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, a free online tool and the nationwide standard for benchmarking and disclosure programs. Users that successfully benchmark their buildings receive scores normalized for building size and adjusted for weather and building usage.

The deadline for reporting 2013 energy and water usage is June 30, 2014. Hands-on assistance about reporting building energy use through the Portfolio Manager program will be provided by the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability during open office hours at 1515 Arch Street, 18th Floor, Philadelphia, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the following dates:

  • Tuesday, May 20
  • Thursday, May 22
  • Friday, May 23
  • Tuesday, June 17
  • Thursday, June 19
  • Friday, June 20

Those wishing to attend one of these sessions should RSVP by email to

Also, focused programming sessions related to specific aspects of building energy benchmarking and improvements will take place at the Consortium for Building Energy Innovation (CBEI, formerly known as EEB Hub) at the Navy Yard on April 23, May 14, and June 18, all from 9 to 11:30. To attend, RSVP via email to Kat Hinkel at

“The first-year benchmarking compliance rate of more than 80 percent exceeded our expectations, based on first-year results in other cities, and our ENERGY STAR ranking continues to improve,” said Alex Dews, Policy and Program Manager for the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. “Now, our goals for subsequent years will be to drive energy efficiency improvements through data transparency and available partner programs such as EnergyWorks, PGW’s EnergySense, PECO Smart Ideas and others.”

The first-year results cover calendar year 2012, which will serve as a baseline for future annual energy reporting and results. In the first year of compliance, reports were filed for 86 percent of all covered buildings. Of approximately 1,900 eligible buildings, energy usage and water reports were filed for 1,750 of them, representing 250 million square feet of building space, or 20 percent of all building space in the city. Benchmarking gives building owners, managers and tenants useful information for making decisions and taking action to reduce their energy and water costs.

An EPA report released on April 10 ranks Philadelphia 9th in the U.S. list of the top 25 metropolitan areas with the most ENERGY STAR certified buildings. To qualify for ENERGY STAR certification, a building must earn a score of 75 or higher on a scale of 1 to 100, indicating that it outperforms 75 percent of similar buildings nationwide.

For more information about the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, visit For more information about Philadelphia Building Energy Benchmarking visit Questions may also be directed via email to