FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(PHILADELPHIA) Thursday March 5, 2015 –Today, City Council passed the Benchmarking Energy and Water Use Bill introduced by Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown, Chair of the Committee on the Environment. The bill would expand the City of Philadelphia’s current requirement of energy and water usage data reporting to include all buildings of 50,000 indoor square feet or more.
In 2012, Councilwoman Reynolds Brown secured passage of a bill requiring energy benchmarking for commercial highrise buildings, making Philadelphia the sixth city in the nation to adopt this policy. This bill seeks to expand the participation requirement to include all buildings of 50,000 indoor square feet or more, which would include residential apartment buildings and condominiums.
“If you learned that your neighbors’ electric bills were all significantly lower than yours, would you want to know how they are achieving these savings? That is the crux of our expanded Energy Benchmarking Bill,” said Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown. “We know that when citizens have facts, they often make different and better decisions about how they spend their money. This bill will allow building owners and managers to determine how energy efficient they are when compared to similar sized buildings, and use that data to achieve savings. Our ultimate goal is to reduce our carbon footprint, energy consumption, and advance Philadelphia’s reputation as one of the Greenest Cities in America.”
“Through two years of implementing the benchmarking program for commercial buildings, we’ve learned valuable information about the impact of building energy usage on our businesses and on our greenhouse gas emissions,” said Katherine Gajewski, Director of Sustainability for the City of Philadelphia. “Over 90 percent of covered buildings have reported data, which is now being publicly disclosed through Philadelphia’s open data network and through our new data visualization tool. This amendment will cover an additional 800 buildings in a growing and vital sector of Philadelphia’s built environment. We look forward to continuing to work with City Council on advancing work on this important issue.”
Councilwoman Reynolds Brown has worked in concert with the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability to ensure that the bill reflects the Mayor’s Greenworks Agenda. Philadelphia is among many major cities to have adopted similar legislation including Austin, TX, Boston and Cambridge, MA, Chicago, IL, Minneapolis, MN New York, NY, San Francisco, CA, Seattle, WA, and the District of Columbia.
The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability has worked with local geospatial analysis firm Azavea to create a visual mapping tool for the results from the second year of Philadelphia’s energy benchmarking program for large commercial buildings. The result is a new user friendly web-based visualization platform available at http://visualization.phillybuildingbenchmarking.com.
For additional information please contact Communications Manager Jason Lewis at 215-686-3438 or 267-250-2925.
Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown has passed meaningful legislation and supported valuable community programming that positively impacts her core issues: children and youth, women, education, small business development, arts and culture and the environment and sustainability. Councilwoman Reynolds Brown is the only woman to win an At-Large Council seat since 1999.