The Push for a Greener Philadelphia: City Adopts New Energy Benchmarking Requirements for Owners of Large Commercial Buildings


In August 2012, the mayor of Philadelphia signed into law Bill 120428-A, which establishes new energy benchmarking requirements for owners of certain large commercial and mixed-use buildings. The energy benchmarking bill requires owners of “covered buildings” to report and disclose data annually related to energy and water usage and other building characteristics.1 Covered buildings include any commercial building with at least 50,000 square feet, and all commercial portions of any mixed-use building where at least 50,000 square feet of the building is devoted to commercial use.

The energy benchmarking bill represents the city’s latest effort to make Philadelphia one of the greenest cities in America, and mandates owners of covered buildings participate in helping the city reach this goal. Philadelphia joins the ranks of at least five other cities, among them New York, Washington and San Francisco, to adopt this kind of energy benchmarking legislation. Similar to other cities’ benchmarking measures, the energy benchmarking bill is designed to create awareness and transparency with regard to energy and water consumption and encourage more energy-efficient practices among owners of large commercial buildings.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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