The County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has released the first year of private non-residential energy data for buildings 250,000 square feet and greater (“Group 1” covered buildings). This is the first release of privately-owned building data as required under the County’s Building Energy Benchmarking and Transparency Law.
The data provides information on more than 130 private and County-owned buildings totaling 33.3 million square feet. Seventy-seven percent of the Group 1 buildings required to submit data this reporting period did so; DEP continues to work with non-compliant building owners to improve this figure.
Benchmarking and transparency laws are established to assist the commercial building market in reducing energy use and enhancing building operations. By comparing one building’s energy use against comparable buildings across the country, facility owners can improve energy performance, identify energy efficiency opportunities, and drive down utility costs over time. Public transparency of energy data rewards market leaders in the building sector and helps owners make important and cost-effective energy investments.
For their initial reporting deadline, owners of Group 1 buildings benchmarked and reported calendar year 2015 data to DEP by June 1, 2016. The second reporting deadline for Group 1 buildings was June 1, 2017 — building energy benchmarking data for each Group is disclosed publicly following the second year of reporting.
Montgomery County has long been a leader in sustainability and energy efficiency initiatives. In April 2014, Montgomery County became the first county in the nation to adopt a building energy benchmarking and disclosure law for public and certain private commercial buildings that are 50,000 square feet and greater.
“Through the Benchmarking Law, we anticipate that Montgomery County’s private building community will harness their energy data and make improvements to their operations in an efficient and sustainable way,” said Patty Bubar, acting director of DEP. “The County has an ambitious greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal, and engaging our private building sector through our commercial energy programs is a key component towards achieving that goal. We are thrilled to see a 77% compliance rate, and look forward to improving this rate in future years.”
The County led by example and benchmarked County facilities greater than 50,000 square feet by June 1, 2015, and will continue annually thereafter. This is the third year that the Department of General Services has benchmarked and reported County building data to DEP and the second year data has been released publicly per the Law’s disclosure terms.
More information on DEP’s Benchmarking Law is available at the DEP Benchmarking Website. A glossary of terms used in the public disclosure spreadsheet is also available for download.
NOTE: The third and final group of buildings, private commercial buildings that range in size from 50,000 square feet up to 249,999 square feet (or “Group 2 buildings”), benchmarked and reported calendar year 2016 building energy data for their initial reporting deadline of June 1, 2017. Private building data will be made public during each Group’s second year of reporting; thus Group 2 private building data will be publicly disclosed in late 2018.