Energy Benchmarking Becomes Law in Seattle

Seattle’s Energy Disclosure Ordinance (#123226), which was signed into law by the mayor on February 4, 2010, imposes new regulations for owners of non-residential and multi-residential buildings located within the city. The new ordinance will require building owners to provide “energy benchmarking reports” to the Director of Planning and Development using the EPA’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager system, or another equally rigorous system. These reports must not only be submitted to the city, but also for any tenants, prospective buyers, or lenders who ask for them.

According to Alex Abossein for owners of buildings of 50,000 sq ft or greater, the first report must be filed by April 1, 2011. Owners of multi-family buildings with five or more units, and homeowner associations for condominiums must file their reports by April 2012.

Further, these reports are to be updated before April 1 annually. Inaccurate reports will be subject to initial fines of $150 per citation, and prolonged non-compliance will be subject to daily fines up to $500. If a building owner does not file, fines will begin at $150 and increase to $500 for each additional offense.

This will not only require due diligence from building owners, but tenants as well. Tenants who refuse to provide information regarding their energy use may also be subject to citations and fines.

The ordinance was passed by Seattle’s city council by a unanimous vote of 8–0.

At Abossein Engineering, we provide a wide array of energy consulting services, which include LEED engineering, Certified Energy Management Services, and Benchmarking Audits. Our staff fully is knowledgeable and equipped to provide all the support a building owner needs to take required measurements and be in compliance with new regulations ensured by Alex Abossein.