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The energy-use benchmarking and disclosure mandate has its roots in PlanNYC, an ambitious series of initiatives announced by Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2007 addressing all aspects of the city's aging infrastructure. Under PlanNYC, the city has set a target of a 30 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, compared to 2005 levels, by 2030. The Greener, Greater Buildings Plan is one outgrowth of PlanNYC.
Since PlanNYC was announced, voluntary benchmarking through Energy Star's Portfolio Manager in New York City has more than doubled. (See chart on page 28 for the breakdown.)
"There was huge momentum already in that market," says Leslie Cook, Energy Star public sector manager.
With 1 million buildings in New York City, those benchmarking tallies will probably explode with the new legislation. Cook says Portfolio Manager can certainly handle the increased traffic. But in response to the wave of benchmarking laws, EPA is adding new functionality to the tool to anticipate the needs of legislation-driven benchmarking nationwide.
For one, EPA is expanding the self-serve training resources for Portfolio Manger to help facility managers who must now start benchmarking. Another new functionality is geared toward municipalities, to allow them to get information back in a useful format.
Through custom reporting interfaces, facility managers will use Portfolio Manager to submit the required data to their city or state government and the city or state can choose what kind of data to receive, instead of just getting raw benchmarked numbers.
"The city isn't after raw benchmarked data and facility managers don't necessarily want to offer that level of access to their data," Cook says. This functionality can also be used in conjunction with grant program compliance at the city or state level, Cook says.
NYC's Greener, Greater Buildings Plan
NYC Requires Energy Star Portfolio Manager in Benchmarking Legislation