Philadelphia's Commercial Building Benchmarking Deadline Approaching; Program Expanded to Include Residential Buildings

June 15, 2015
Wesley S. Stevenson and Brenda H. Gotanda
MGKF Special Alert

Philadelphia became the nation's sixth city to pass benchmarking legislation when it adopted an ordinance in June 2012 requiring large commercial buildings to report their energy and water use.  Ordinance No. 120428-A required owners of buildings with 50,000 square feet or more of indoor floor space devoted to commercial use to annually report their energy and water consumption data.  Now in its third year, the program includes over 1,900 buildings, representing approximately 25 percent of the square footage citywide.  The deadline to report 2014 energy and water data is fast approaching--data must be reported by June 30, 2015.  MGKF's prior Special Alert on these benchmarking requirements, breaking down the details of covered buildings, exempt buildings, data entry, and disclosure of use can be found here.

Building upon the successful implementation of the benchmarking program, the Philadelphia City Council passed Ordinance No. 150011 earlier this year, expanding the program's reach to large residential buildings. Now, all buildings (not just commercial buildings) with at least 50,000 square feet of indoor floor space are required to report their energy and water consumption to the City through EPA's online Portfolio Manager.  It is estimated that this amendment will bring 700 additional buildings into the city's benchmarking program.  This change means new energy and water benchmarking and reporting responsibilities for owners and managers of large residential properties including multi-family, apartment, condominium, and mixed-use buildings. 

Because the program amendment does not take effect until July 1, 2015, these newly covered residential properties do not need to report by the June 30, 2015 deadline for currently covered buildings.  Reporting deadlines for buildings newly covered by the change will be announced once the Mayor's Office of Sustainability issues regulations outlining the reporting process for these buildings.  

For additional information concerning Philadelphia's benchmarking requirements, please contact Brenda Gotanda at 484-430-2327; or Michael Nines at 484-430-2350;