Are You Ready for Philadelphia's October 31, 2013 Building Benchmarking Deadline?


In 2012, the City of Philadelphia enacted Section 9-3402 of the Philadelphia Code. The new section requires annual reporting of energy usage, water usage, and other attributes for all buildings in the City with more than 50,000 square footage of commercial space. The new Section defines commercial space broadly, and additional guidance issued by the City suggests that all non-residential space is potentially commercial space. While certain industrial buildings and buildings where 50 percent or more of the commercial floor space has been vacant for more than 180 days are eligible for an exemption from the City’s Office of Sustainability, the commercial portions of mixed-use buildings are subject to reporting if they contain more than 50,000 square feet of commercial space. Earlier in 2013, the City’s Office of Sustainability sent letters to the approximately 2,000 buildings in the City that it believes to be subject to Section 9-3402.

Section 9-3402 imposes a variety of obligations. Primary among them is the requirement that owners of qualifying buildings submit an annual report on energy usage, water usage, and other attributes for their building. The annual report will be provided to the City through the EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager website. Except for owners that receive an exemption from public disclosure from the Office of Sustainability, reports will be publicly available on the Internet.

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