Des Moines passes mandatory energy benchmarking - Smart Energy Decisions

Commercial, Energy Efficiency, GHG Emissions  -  June 17, 2019

Des Moines passes mandatory energy benchmarking

The city council of Des Moines approved an ordinance that will require nearly 800 building in the city to report their energy and water usage. The ordinance, passed by a 5-2 vote, will require all City of Des Moines buildings, commercial buildings, and multi-family buildings over 25,000 square feet to participate in this benchmarking. Beginning in 2020, each building will receive an energy star score measuring its energy efficiency compared to similar buildings.

The ordinance was proposed after the city did a greenhouse gas inventory and found that commercial energy use accounted for 35% of the city’s gas emissions, according to Josh Mandelbaum, a member of the city council.

A report from said the ordinance calls for the benchmarking information to become public by 2022. "We have an opportunity now to see the data,” said John Bergman, vice president of real estate management for Hubbell Realty, who collaborated on developing the ordinance. “Private enterprises need to see the data so they can understand what is going on in their buildings and if they want to make adjustments, if they need to make adjustments, then we have an opportunity to do that before this data is made public."

Noting the collaboration between the city and private stakeholders on the ordinance, Bergman said, "It's one of those things where I think both sides feel like it wasn't everything they wanted, but it was something they could live with. I think that probably indicates it was a good outcome.”

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