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A new city ordinance in Madison, Wisconsin, will require owners of larger commercial buildings to conduct energy tune-ups every four years or face fines in a city-wide effort to increase energy efficiency in the city.
The Wisconsin State-Journal reported that the city council unanimously approved the Building Energy Savings Program.
The new ordinance requires owners of commercial buildings 25,000 square feet or larger to annually benchmark energy use by using the Energy Star Portfolio Manager, an online tool provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Regular benchmarking can reduce energy use by 8-10 percent over time, advocates say.
Owners of commercial buildings 50,000 square feet or larger must conduct tune-ups every four years. The tune-ups include checking HVAC and lighting systems to ensure that energy waste isn’t taking place and that maintenance or repairs can be recognized to improve the systems. Advocates of regular tune-ups claim that such actions can reduce energy use by 12 percent and offers a return on investment in less than two years.
Madison’s commercial buildings account for 30 percent of the city’s carbon emissions, according to the article, and covers about 680 buildings 25,000 square feet or larger.
Like many cities, Madison has a goal of achieving 100 percent renewable energy and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Dave Lubach is managing editor of the facilities market.
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