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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.

Fix-It Fair connects you to community resources

Join Be Cart Smart and Resourceful PDX at this free event to get tips on using your roll carts, and how to save more and live more at home

Attendee at Fix-It Fair exhibit hall

The next Fix-It Fair of the season is on Saturday, January 24 from 9:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Rosa Parks Elementary School, 8960 N Woolsey Ave.

Fix-It Fair offers money-saving solutions and educational opportunities for you and your family, while emphasizing healthy, environmentally friendly homes.

Workshops are offered throughout the day at the top of the hour.

The Resource Guide features many Fix-It Fair partners that are part of the exhibit hall and that offer their expertise on a variety of topics throughout the day:

  • Home and personal health
  • Home repair and utility savings
  • Sound money and safe home
  • Yard and garden

Join Be Cart Smart at this free event to learn tips on what goes in the garbage, recycling and composting roll carts, and what must stay out. And talk to Resourceful PDX to give and get ideas for making simple changes in everyday choices to save more and live more!

February open house at the rail museum reveals new concepts and plans for the future of the Central Eastside

Portlanders are invited to learn about and share their feedback on the latest developments for the SE Quadrant Plan

One of the challenges of the SE Quadrant Plan is balancing the freight function of the district with additional traffic expected over the next 20 years.

Join the SE Quadrant planning team at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center (ORHC) on February 19 to learn about the future of the Central Eastside. View maps, images and diagrams, and read and comment on the goals, policies and actions that have been developed over the last year and a half. Input from the open house, the Stakeholder Advisory Committee and other Central Eastside stakeholders will help shape the SE Quadrant Draft Plan to be released in March.

You’ll be able to learn more and share your ideas about how the plan will:

  • Provide greater flexibility for new industrial uses, activate MAX light rail station areas, and enhance and connect areas of the district.
  • Address parking needs and improve key freight, bicycle and pedestrian corridors.
  • Continue to develop the riverfront as a destination and enhance river habitat.
  • Provide park-like spaces and green infrastructure.

Attendees are invited to explore the exhibits of historic train engines, and Rail Heritage Center staff will be on hand to answer questions. Snacks and refreshments will be provided.

SE Quadrant Open House
Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Oregon Rail Heritage Center, 2250 SE Water Ave
Parking: There is a parking lot available west of SE Water Ave on SE Caruthers Street.

PSC News: January 27, 2015 Meeting Recap and Documents

Comprehensive Plan Update — work session

Agenda

  • Comprehensive Plan — work session

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.

City Council Holds Public Hearing on Recommended Draft of the West Quadrant Plan

Commissioners hear testimony from nearly 60 Portlanders; support affordable housing goals and actions

The West Quadrant Plan was the focus of a public hearing at City Council on Feb. 4, 2015. Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) staff presented the big ideas in the recommended plan, including creating a healthy and vibrant 21st-century urban waterfront, developing a signature 10-mile walking and biking parkway (or Green Loop), encouraging a mix of uses in the quadrant and constructing a model low-carbon Central City.  

Close to 60 community members testified on the Recommended Draft for more than four hours, with much of the testimony focusing on height and density limits in the West End and Goose Hollow.

But affordable housing took center stage when Commissioner Dan Saltzman co-sponsored the resolution to adopt the plan, along with Mayor Charlie Hales. Commissioner Nick Fish also spoke passionately about the need to keep Portland from becoming like San Francisco and other high-cost cities through regulations and programs that would support affordable and workforce housing on the west side of the Central City.

The West Quadrant Plan calls for a mix of housing types and establishes an affordable housing target for 2035. It also addresses the environmental health of the Willamette River and proposes actions to protect historic resources.

In regards to building height, the plan leaves existing limits in much of the quadrant alone. It does, however, propose transfer of development rights for historic buildings in Old Town/Chinatown as well as bonuses that could create incentives for affordable housing, building setbacks for plazas and public space, and other civic amenities.

At one point during the hearing, Commissioner Steve Novick asked staff about the relationship between building height and carbon emissions. BPS Director Susan Anderson pointed out that higher buildings can help create more compact, transit-accessible and amenity-rich communities, which help us reach our climate action goals.

The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is conducting a study to determine the costs and benefits of bonuses to both the City and developers as well as the financial viability of different types of bonuses. BPS is also working on an updated Scenic Resources Inventory in the city center, which will identify view sheds and corridors worth preserving. Until this work is done, however, no final decisions on height limits or bonuses will be made.

Next Steps

The West Quadrant Plan will be back on the Council agenda in a few weeks. Please check Council agendas to confirm the following:

  • Friday, February 20 (5 p.m.)
    City Council proposed amendments will be posted on the Council website.
     
  • Thursday, March 5, 2015 at 2 p.m., time certain 
    City Council Hearing

After Council votes to adopt the plan by resolution, planners will then begin to consolidate all of the quadrant plans (West, N/NE and SE quadrants) and draft new Zoning Code provisions for a complete Central City 2035 (CC2035) plan. This combined plan and ordinance will then be the subject of hearings before the Planning and Sustainablity Commission and City Council in 2016. Once adopted, CC2035 will become an amendment to the newly adopted Comprehensive Plan.

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, the Pearl, Old Town/Chinatown, South Waterfront and South Downtown/University. For more information, please visit www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/cc2035/westquad.