Salt Lake City to require commercial building owners to report energy scores
Owners of Salt Lake City’s largest buildings — or many of them, anyway — soon will have to report their energy usage.
The City Council has passed an ordinance that city officials believe will cut energy costs and reduce air pollution, even if it’s not all they had once hoped for, reports The Salt Lake Tribune.
The new ordinance requires owners of commercial buildings larger than 25,000 square feet to provide the city with an annual measure of their energy usage — a step toward the city’s goals of using 100 percent renewable electricity by 2032 and reducing carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2040.
The ordinance applies only to municipal and commercial buildings, not to places of worship or tax-exempt buildings.
Instead of publishing the energy scores of all such buildings, the city will publish only those buildings deemed to be more efficient than 50 percent of similar buildings nationwide, while giving building owners the option to go further and share their exact scores.
Potential tuneups identified during energy use assessments will be voluntary, though city officials think many of those tuneups will make sense to building owners from environmental and financial standpoints.
The ordinance will be phased in over three years.
Barring superseding state action, owners of commercial buildings that are more than 50,000 square feet will need to begin reporting May 2019, while owners of buildings that are between 25,000 and 50,000 square feet will have until May 2020.
Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski said in a news release that the ordinance was “a case study in collaborative policymaking.”
City staffers project that each year, the ordinance will save local building owners $15.8 million while cutting 29 tons of pollutants.
Kevin Emerson, director of energy efficiency programs for Utah Clean Energy, said in a news release that nonresidential buildings make up 51 percent of the city’s carbon footprint.
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