Honolulu Passes Energy Benchmarking Ordinance

Benchmarking ordinances are proven to work to save energy. Honolulu became the latest locale to ride this trend.   July 25, 2022

By Greg Zimmerman, senior contributing editor

With the passage of Bill 22 in early July, Honolulu, Hawaii, has joined the ranks of dozens of cities and states across the country in instituting a benchmarking law to ensure that commercial buildings are measuring energy and water use. 

Because buildings are the second-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Honolulu, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the new law is a huge step toward reducing energy use and thus emissions. 

Per the new law, all commercial buildings over 25,000 square feet will have to measure and report their energy use via the Energy Star Portfolio Manager tool. The city is taking a phased approach to the law. By 2023, all buildings over 100,000 square feet must be compliant. By 2024, all buildings over 50,000 square feet, and by 2025, all buildings over 25,000 square feet.  

There is a swell of evidence that these benchmarking ordinances work in helping to reduce energy use. NRDC cites similar laws in Chicago, Minneapolis, and Denver that have reduced energy use 3 to 5 percent.   

Greg Zimmerman is senior contributing editor for FacilitiesNet.com and Building Operating Management magazine. 


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