Seattle reviews commercial energy use

February 7, 2013

The city of Seattle, Washington, now has the data it needs to further commercial building green ventures. Green Building Elements reports that a majority of the large property owners and managers in the city are already tracking and reporting building energy performance. This is required under Seattle’s Energy Benchmarking and Reporting Ordinance.

According to the news source, as a result of the ordinance, city officials now have 2011 energy data on more than 87 percent of commercial and multi-family structures that are 50,000 square feet or larger, which represents 1,160 individual properties and more than 200 million square feet of building space.

“Seattle’s benchmarking program has helped many building owners who have never tracked energy use before better understand their building’s energy performance. Reporting the information to the city will help us improve and create programs to help owners upgrade their facilities to save energy and money,” said Jill Simmons, Director of the Seattle Office of Sustainability and Environment, according to Green Building Elements.

By promoting and requiring most commercial structures of a certain size to track energy figures, the city is better able to determine how much energy it requires to run at normal operations.

“Energy bills only tell you so much. Benchmarking lets you see trends and how your building compares with others. As a facilities manager, I am always looking for ways to lower costs, and being energy efficient is a way to do that which benefits my company and its customers,” said Stephen Chandler, Facilities Manager at Verity Credit Union, claims the source.

The Seattle Department of Planning and Development claims that the city is dedicated to creating a more sustainable future. The department has created a number of resources for anyone interested in learning more about how much energy is consumed in the city, as well as potential ways to increase the energy efficiency of a structure, whether it is commercial or residential.

Agencies across the United States are attempting to promote greater sustainability in commercial structures. For example, the Energy Efficient Buildings Hub (EEB Hub) works in the greater Philadelphia area educating construction professionals and commercial property owners about eco-friendly practices and materials. Established by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) the institution works to increase the sustainability of commercial structures.