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Planning and Sustainability

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1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 7100, Portland, OR 97201

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FAQ

What is the purpose of this policy?

Why does this policy require public reporting of a building’s energy performance?

Will my building be affected by this policy?

When does my building have to comply?

How will I comply with the policy?

How will the quality of compliance information be verified by the City of Portland?

Where can I learn more about Portfolio Manager?

How will the City of Portland help building owners comply with the policy?

What information about buildings would be made public?

What if my building contains multiple uses?

My tenants pay their own utility bills. How will I get this information for my building?

Does this policy require me to make changes to my building or how it is operated?

My building has a high occupancy rate, operates for long hours or includes an energy-intensive user. Will this result in a lower ENERGY STAR score?

What about historic buildings and other older buildings that were built with older systems? Won’t the policy penalize these building owners?

How many buildings would this policy affect?

How will the highest-performing buildings be recognized?

 

 

What is the purpose of this policy?

Buildings are the largest source of carbon emissions in Portland. The purpose of the policy is to provide information to potential tenants and owners about building energy performance and motivate investment in energy efficiency improvements that reduce energy use and carbon emissions.

Why does this policy require public reporting of a building’s energy performance?

Publicly reporting energy use provides transparency and encourages competition among building owners and managers to improve efficiency. In addition, building performance data is useful to current and prospective tenants and companies that provide energy efficiency services.

Will my building be affected by this policy?

The proposed energy performance reporting policy affects buildings that include at least 20,000 square feet of commercial space. Commercial uses include offices, retail space, grocery stores, hotels, sports facilities, government, higher education, and health care facilities. Commercial uses do not include residential, places of worship, industrial, warehouses, and primary and secondary schools.

When does my building have to comply?

April 22, 2016 is the initial due date for commercial buildings larger than 50,000 square feet to submit annual energy performance information for the 2015 calendar year. For commercial buildings between 20,000 to 50,000 square feet, April 22, 2017 is the initial due date to submit energy performance information for the 2016 calendar year. Reports on energy use during the previous calendar year will be due each April 22 thereafter.

How will I comply with the policy?

To comply with the policy, track your building’s energy consumption using the free ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool and report benchmarking information (energy use intensity, ENERGY STAR score and greenhouse gas emissions) by April 22nd of the appropriate calendar year. The City will send detailed instructions to each affected property owner.

How will the quality of compliance information be verified by the City of Portland?

To minimize compliance costs for building owners and managers, the City will not require verification by a Professional Engineer or Architect. To ensure accuracy and compliance, the City will review reported information for errors and randomly select buildings annually to check data quality.

Where can I learn more about Portfolio Manager?

More information on Portfolio Manager can be found at: http://www.energystar.gov/buildings/facility-owners-and-managers/existing-buildings/use-portfolio-manager.

How will the City of Portland help building owners comply with the policy?

The City and its partners will conduct ENERGY STAR portfolio manager workshops and training sessions for building owners and managers before the reporting deadline.

What information about buildings will be made public?

The City of Portland will publish building information including status of compliance with the policy, building gross square footage, building type, energy use intensity (kbtu/gross sq ft), ENERGY STAR score and carbon emissions.

What if my building contains multiple uses?

If a building contains at least 20,000 square feet of space predominantly used for commercial purposes, it must comply with the policy.

My tenants pay their own utility bills. How will I get this information for my building?

The policy contains a provision that requires tenants to provide utility information to the building owner upon request.

Does this policy require me to make changes to my building or how it is operated?

No. This policy only requires commercial buildings more than 20,000 square feet to track energy use annually and report performance to the City.

My building has a high occupancy rate, operates for long hours or includes an energy-intensive user. Will this result in a lower ENERGY STAR score?

The ENERGY STAR portfolio manager system allows you to include information such as building age, operating hours, workers per square foot, occupancy rates, and space usage. ENERGY STAR scoring models assume buildings with higher intensities of activities use more energy. More intense uses do not necessarily result in lower scores.

What about historic buildings and other older buildings that were built with older systems? Won’t the policy penalize these building owners?

From the experience in other cities with similar policies, older buildings, on the whole, tend to perform better than newer buildings on energy use intensity and benchmarking score. Many factors contribute to a building’s efficiency, such as the amount of windows, thickness of walls, and how the building is operated.

How many buildings will this policy affect?

Approximately 1,000 commercial buildings will be affected by this policy, covering nearly 80 percent of the commercial square footage in Portland, including local government-owned buildings.

How will the highest performing buildings be recognized?

The City will recognize the highest performing buildings through events, media, websites, case studies and other communication strategies.