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Regulatory Update – Atlanta Passes Energy Benchmarking Law

Atlanta Passes Energy Benchmarking Law

Atlanta became the first Southeast city to pass energy benchmarking and transparency legislation, which was unanimously voted into law on April 20 by the Atlanta City Council. Atlanta is the 12th U.S. city to pass a benchmarking ordinance for private buildings, and the sixth to require building owners to perform energy audits.

The new law, referred to as the Atlanta Commercial Buildings Energy Efficiency Ordinance, will be phased in, starting with municipal buildings in 2015 and expanding to include private buildings in 2016. Private and city-owned buildings over 25,000 square feet will be required to report their energy use. Owners of the designated buildings will be required to annually benchmark and report to the city their properties’ energy use.  Building off of this data, building owners will then be asked to complete an energy audit once every 10 years.

The City projects that the ordinance will drive a 20 percent reduction in commercial energy consumption by the year 2030, spur the creation of more than 1,000 jobs a year in the first few years, and reduce carbon emissions by 50 percent from 2013 levels by 2030.

The ordinance is part of the City’s work under the City Energy Project, an initiative from the IMT and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), that is developing locally tailored plans and programs to create healthier, more prosperous, and more resilient cities by reducing carbon pollution from buildings.