Building  Owners  and  Managers  Association  International

Building Owners and Managers Association International

Energy Benchmarking Ordinances Passed in Atlanta and Portland (5/7/2015)

On April 20, the Atlanta City Council unanimously passed a building energy benchmarking and disclosure ordinance. Two days later in Oregon, the Portland City Council unanimously adopted its own benchmarking ordinance, making Atlanta and Portland the 12th and 13th cities in the United States to approve such policies.

For several months prior to the passage of the Atlanta ordinance, BOMA/Georgia staff met with Atlanta city officials and were able to negotiate several key compromises on behalf of the commercial real estate industry. For example, BOMA/Georgia was able to persuade the city to make the retro-commissioning requirements optional, not mandatory, and to ensure that properties with an ENERGY STAR® score below 50 will not be required to disclose their score publicly.

In Portland, the new ordinance will require commercial buildings of 20,000 square feet or larger—approximately 80 percent of Portland's commercial inventory—to track and report their energy use. Complying with these new requirements would place an enormous financial burden on local BOMA members, some of whom own or manage more than fifty buildings affected by the mandate. Portland city officials say that they have heard the concerns of BOMA/Oregon and will work to address them; officials also have pledged to assist Portland's commercial building owners with ordinance compliance.