According to a survey conducted in 2016 by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), facility managers in New York City that measure the energy performance of their buildings are investing in energy-saving technologies and operational improvements in order to increase their buildings’ energy efficiency.
The survey found that 84 per cent of facility managers who benchmarked their facilities’ energy use made a low- or no-cost operational change to improve their buildings’ performance, while 82 per cent invested in new equipment to improve energy performance. The most common energy-saving investments included lighting and lighting controls, heating and cooling upgrades, and energy management systems.
“This survey adds to the growing evidence that building energy benchmarking and transparency ordinances are prompting facility managers and building owners to make investments in energy-efficient equipment and low- or no-cost operational changes,” said Kyle Pitsor, vice president of government relations at NEMA, in a press release. “Other cities should consider adopting building energy benchmarking and transparency policies similar to New York City’s Local Law 84 to spur energy savings and to support the manufacturing and construction jobs that stem from building upgrades.”
Several U.S. cities are implementing building energy benchmarking and transparency ordinances that require large buildings to measure and disclose their energy use as a way to encourage energy efficiency improvements. These policies allow building owners and occupants to compare the energy performance of their buildings with similar buildings.
Studies have shown that commercial, multi-family and public buildings that benchmark their energy use per city benchmarking ordinances have reduced their energy use intensity and increased their Energy Star Portfolio Manager scores faster than buildings that are not held to similar ordinances. These findings help support the conclusion that implementing benchmarking laws can act as a catalyst to increase building efficiency.