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Learn about proposed City of Portland Energy Performance Reporting Policy for commercial buildings

Proposed policy would help building operators track energy use and identify options to improve efficiency and save money

This spring, Portland City Council will consider a new policy that would require owners of commercial buildings over 20,000 square feet to track their building’s energy use and report it on an annual basis. The proposed policy would cover nearly 80 percent of the commercial square footage, affecting approximately 1,000 buildings — less than 20 percent of Portland’s commercial buildings.

Renee Loveland, sustainability manager at Gerding Edlen, told the Portland Tribune that “the policy is a great step in the right direction.” Other coverage of the policy proposal includes a story from The Oregonian  and the Portland Business Journal .

What’s this about?

The proposed Energy Performance Reporting Policy would require commercial buildings to track energy performance with a free online tool called ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager and report energy use information to the City of Portland on an annual basis. There are nearly 5,000 commercial buildings in Portland and fewer than 100 claim ENERGY STAR certification. 

Why is the City proposing this policy?

  • The energy used to power buildings is the largest source of carbon pollution in Portland.
  • Similar to a MPG rating for a new car, the energy performance policy would allow potential tenants and owners to have access to important information about building energy performance.
  • Commercial energy reporting policies in 10 other U.S. cities have proven to motivate investment in efficiency improvements that save money and reduce carbon emissions.

“The proposed policy will build awareness in the commercial building sector about energy performance,” said Bureau of Planning and Sustainability Director Susan Anderson. “Energy-efficient buildings are a win for the building owner, the tenant and for Portland’s carbon reduction goals.”

The proposed policy covers offices, retail spaces, grocery stores, hotels, health care and higher education buildings. It does not include residential properties, nursing homes, places of worship, parking structures, K-12 schools, industrial facilities or warehouses.

Two events in early January offered businesses affected by the proposal a chance to ask questions, provide feedback and to understand next steps. Staff from the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability will continue to work with stakeholders from the real estate and development community to refine the policy before consideration by Portland City Council in spring, 2015.

When would the proposed policy go into effect?

  • Commercial buildings larger than 50,000 square feet would be required to begin reporting in 2016.
  • Commercial buildings between 20,000 and 50,000 square feet would begin reporting in 2017.

 

Visit www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/energyreporting to learn more, provide feedback and sign up for policy updates.

City Council Approves Short-term Rentals in Multi-dwelling Structures

New regulations will allow Portlanders to rent up to two bedrooms in their apartment or condominium

On Jan. 14, 2015, the Portland City Council adopted new regulations that will allow a resident to rent up to two bedrooms in their apartment or condominium to overnight guests through the Accessory Short-Term Rental (ASTR) permit process. Currently, this rule applies only to houses, duplexes and accessory dwelling units.

The number of short-term rentals allowed in a multi-dwelling building is limited to one unit or up to 25 percent of all units, whichever is greater. The rules for ASTRs in multi-dwelling structures are similar to those already in effect for single dwellings:

  • The short-term rental must be accessory to household living.
  • The property owner, if not the resident, must approve.
  • Basic safety measures must be met.
  • Required notice must be sent to surrounding residents.

For more information, read the approved Mayor’s Recommended Draft.

The new regulations became effective on Feb. 13, 2015. Prior to the effective date, the Bureau of Development Services will update the Accessory Short-Term Rental permit application to include multi-dwelling structures. The two-year permit fee is $100.

Visit the Bureau of Development Services Accessory Short-Term Rental website.

Oregon’s electronics recycling program expands its scope

Starting January 1, 2015, you can recycle your computer “peripherals” – keyboards and mice – as well as desktop printers

old electronics

Did you give someone a new gadget this holiday? Or did you receive something shiny and new yourself? Oregon E-Cycles offers options to recycle old electronics and the program expanded on January 1, 2015.

Computers, monitors and TVs are not allowed in curbside garbage and cannot be disposed of at landfills or incinerators.

Starting January 1, 2015, you can recycle your computer “peripherals” – keyboards and mice – as well as desktop printers.

Oregon E-Cycles logoOregon E-Cycles is a free electronics recycling program for old computers, monitors and TVs you no longer need or want. This includes laptops and tablets.

You can recycle a maximum of seven items at a time. There are 270 collection facilities and recyclers throughout the state and several locations in the Portland-metro area.

Reuse and repair is even better

Of course, if your electronics are still in good working order, look for donation options at Find a Recycler. If your gadget needs a repair you might be able to fix with expertise at a local Repair Café event.

Interested in finding a collection site near you?
Call1-888-5-ECYCLE (1-800-532-9253) or find a location online.

Have a question for our Curbside Hotline Operator?
Submit your question online or call 503-823-7202.

Recommended Draft West Quadrant Plan Goes Before City Council

Planning and Sustainability Commission unanimously recommends plan for future of the area to City Council; public hearing scheduled for Feb. 4, 2015

The future of the Central City’s west side is one step closer to being realized. A new long-range plan to make the area a model of sustainable living, increase business development and employment opportunities, and create greater housing choices for more Portlanders is headed to City Council.

Cover of the Recommended Draft West Quadrant PlanOn Dec. 9, 2014, after holding a public hearing and two work sessions, the Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission voted unanimously to recommend that City Council adopt a revised West Quadrant Plan. During briefings and work sessions from September through early December, commissioners worked with Bureau of Planning and Sustainability staff to revise several sections of the draft, including policies, actions and/or targets related to affordable housing, environmental protection, livability and the Willamette River.

On Feb. 4, 2015, the City Council will hold a public hearing on a non-binding resolution to adopt the West Quadrant Plan. The content of the adopted plan will be integrated with other elements into a comprehensive Central City 2035 Plan (CC2035), which will be the subject of public hearings before both the Planning and Sustainability Commission and City Council in 2016.

The public is invited to testify on the Recommended Draft Plan at the City Council hearing.

Public Hearing, West Quadrant Plan – Testimony Welcome
February 4, 2014, 2 p.m.
Portland City Council
Council Chambers (City Hall, 2nd Floor)
1221 SW 4th Avenue

How to Give Testimony
You can share your feedback on the plan with City Council in several ways:

  1. Testify in person at the hearing (see details above)
     
  2. Submit written testimony
    Attn: Council Clerk
    1221 SW Fourth Avenue, Room 140
    Portland, OR 97204
     
  3. FAX or Email comments to 503-823-4571 or Karla.Moore-Love@portlandoregon.gov. Written testimony must be received by the time of the hearing and must include your name and address.

Download Council Documents

We have heard that some people are having challenges accessing the document at the above link. If the link is not working on your computer, try downloading it here.

The West Quadrant Plan is a long-range plan for Central City districts west of the Willamette River, including Downtown, the West End, Goose Hollow, Pearl, Old Town/Chinatown, South Waterfront and South Downtown/University. This plan will be integrated with the N/NE Quadrant and SE Quadrant plans to become  a comprehensive long-range plan for Portland’s city center, which will be adopted as an amendment to the city’s new Comprehensive Plan.

PSC News: January 13, 2015 Meeting Recap and Documents

Vote for 2015 PSC Officer Slate; Energy Performance in Portland's Commercial Buildings; Comprehensive Plan Update; Proposed Amendments to Two URAs; Zoning Code Amendment for Hazardous Substances in the Environmental Overlay Zone

Agenda

  • Vote for 2015 PSC Officer Slate — decision
  • Energy Performance in Portland’s Commercial Buildings — briefing
  • Comprehensive Plan — briefing
  • URA Amendments — work session / recommendation
  • Zoning Code Amendment for Hazardous Substances in the Environmental Overlay Zone — hearing

Meeting files

An archive of meeting minutes and documents of all Planning and Sustainability Commission meetings are available at http://efiles.portlandoregon.gov/webdrawer.dll/webdrawer/search/rec?sm_class=uri_7223&count&rows=50.