If you own a large commercial building in Seattle, you can expect to see a letter in the mail (that’s right, an actual letter in the mail) from the city explaining a new energy-saving program. According to Seattle city officials, more than 8,000 letters are going out to building owners, letting know that the new Building Energy Benchmarking and Reporting Program will be requiring some information.
The program aims to help building owners and managers of nonresidential buildings over 50,000 square feet reduce their energy costs through measuring and rating the building’s energy performance. Also known as benchmarking, the process helps owners get insights into how their building uses and wastes energy. This next phase of the program will require nonresidential buildings over 10,000 square feet and multifamily buildings with five or more units to benchmark and report their energy performance by April 1.
“Buildings consume more than 40 percent of the energy produced in the U.S. but there is a huge opportunity to lower energy costs through better building efficiency,” Diane Sugimura, Director of Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development said in a statement. “The city successfully launched the first phase of the Building Energy Benchmarking program earlier this year and we’re excited to begin reaching an even larger pool of buildings.”
As part of the program, the city has developed a series of educational materials to help building owners reduce their energy usage. The materials include hands-on training workshops, webinars and a step-by-step How To guide about utility energy-saving programs, rebates and other financial incentives to save energy.