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District Releases Benchmarking Performance of Large Privately - Owned Buildings

Monday, February 24, 2014
Data shows overall energy efficient performance with room for improvements

CONTACT: Donna Henry (DDOE) 202.299.3338; [email protected]

Washington, DC – The District of Columbia today published detailed data on the energy and water performance of more than 450 of the city’s largest privately owned buildings, covering over 160 million square feet. The data, which includes energy and water consumption of large commercial and multifamily buildings for 2012 and 2011, resulted from mandatory energy “benchmarking” of large buildings.  A report summarizing the findings was also released.

Energy benchmarking and disclosure is critical to our efforts to help the District become the healthiest, greenest and most livable city in the nation,” said Keith A. Anderson, Director of the District Department of the Environment (DDOE). “This information will drive more investments in energy efficiency measures in the District and allow property owners and tenants to make informed decisions on their energy and water usage.

The District is the first jurisdiction in the country that required private buildings to measure their energy performance and the second city (after New York City) to publicly disclose benchmarking data to the public.

The Green Building Report for the District of Columbia 2012 shows how, overall, the District’s building stock is among the most efficient in the country. Among the findings:

  • DC commercial buildings are exceptionally efficient. Large private commercial buildings in the District score, on, average, 77 out of 100 on the ENERGY STAR® scale, meaning they are in the 77th percentile of energy efficiency nationwide -- well above the national median score of 50.
  • Efficiency is improving. Buildings over 200,000 gross square feet reported data for 2010-2012 that showed a reduced energy usage by 6% on average over that period.
  • There is substantial variation in performance. The least-efficient office buildings use over 235% as much energy as the most efficient ones.
  • Age has no impact.  Contrary to popular belief, there is zero correlation between the age of a building and its energy performance.
  • High Compliance Rate. To date, over 83% of buildings required to report energy benchmarking data to DDOE have done so.

 “Our owners know that investors and tenants who have incorporated sustainability into their business plans are interested in benchmarking building performance,said Richard Bradley, Executive Director of the DowntownDC Business Improvement District.Being leaders in the management of energy usage and building-related resources enhances their competitiveness in the commercial real estate market.” 

The benchmarking data also allows the DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU), the District’s energy efficiency provider under contract to DDOE, to identify buildings and customer groups with the greatest energy savings potential and to target ratepayer dollars where they are most needed.

We urgently need this data to identify and work with the District’s largest energy users to reduce our city-wide energy consumption, said Ted Trabue, Managing Director of the DCSEU.

The DCSEU also offers a Benchmarking Help Center to assist building owners and managers comply with DDOE benchmarking requirements. The Help Center can be reached at [email protected].

This year, the benchmarking requirement expands to all privately-owned buildings over 50,000 gross square feet. One Thousand and Five Hundred buildings must report 2013 benchmarking data to DDOE by April 1, 2014. A list of covered buildings and updated guidance documents can be found on DDOE’s website.

Detailed energy and water benchmarking data for 2011 and 2012 can be downloaded from the DC Data Catalog or from DDOE’s website Energy Benchmarking Disclosure.

The Green Building Report, with summary benchmarking analysis can be downloaded at Green Building Reports.