A report released this week by the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) offers the first-ever national review of building energy rating and disclosure policies in the United States. While this pertains to commercial buildings, transparency in residential units is being scrutinized by a number of groups in order to help consumers understand the true costs of owning a home.
The policies, recently enacted into law by five cities and two states, require large commercial building owners to measure their properties’ energy consumption and reveal that data. By making building energy use and costs more transparent, these laws will encourage building energy improvements and stimulate market demand for energy efficiency.
Building Energy Transparency is the first comprehensive review of building energy rating and disclosure laws in New York City; San Francisco; Seattle; Washington, D.C.; Austin; and in the states of California and Washington. The requirements are starting to be phased in this year and will have an enormous impact on American real estate, affecting 4 billion square feet of building space—nearly 3 times the current impact of the LEED rating system.
Building Energy Transparency identifies best practices to help jurisdictions overcome common challenges in implementation: for example, utilities’ energy data can be difficult to access, and many cities lack a complete inventory of building stock. IMT’s report will be an essential road-map for jurisdictions seeking to adopt rating and disclosure policies.
“We are pleased to publish this report at such a significant time in the evolution of U.S. rating and disclosure policies,” says Andrew Burr, director of IMT’s Building Energy Rating Program and the lead author of the report. “As these policies continue to draw interest from states and cities across the country, we can enable policymakers to build on the lessons and best practices from early adopters.”
The report is available online for free here.
In addition to the report, IMT worked with real estate services firm CB Richard Ellis on a compact user’s guide to the requirements. CBRE’s “Guide to State and Local Energy Performance Regulations” can be downloaded for free.
IMT also has launched www.buildingrating.org, the online hub for global rating & disclosure policy, a collaboration with the Natural Resources Defense Council.