Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Back in September, Chicago became the latest city to adopt an ordinance requiring benchmarking of energy use in its large buildings. It is a notable accomplishment; only New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Minneapolis, Boston, Seattle, Austin, San Francisco, California, and Washington State have similar ordinances.
I do not see why these ordinances have not caught on more quickly: the reporting is not terribly onerous; the upside for good actors in the market is huge; and operating costs of large office buildings seem like something that should have been a standard part of due diligence processes in real estate deals a long time ago. It is likely only the realities of the triple-net lease, which typically require tenants to pay operating costs and maintenance of their space, that insulated building owners from worries about energy efficiency. Hopefully more cities will jump on the benchmarking bandwagon and force building owners to bring energy efficiency back into the market price of their buildings.
Stephen R. Miller