Media: County aids Edina, St. Louis Park benchmarking (Finance and Commerce)

Jan 7, 2020

From Finance and Commerce:

Edina and St. Louis Park last year joined a growing national energy benchmarking movement that requires large building owners to disclose their energy consumption.

Following Minneapolis, which passed a building benchmarking ordinance in 2016, the two suburban cities want to use the policy to help landlords reduce natural gas and electricity consumption. They join more than 30 cities across the country that have benchmarking ordinances, a move more cities will take this decade to play their part in combatting climate change....

...Hennepin County and McKnight Foundation grant funds the Efficient Buildings Collaborative, but communities pay a fee for every service they use. Hiniker said charging fees would allow the program wants to be self-sustaining after the grant funding ends.

Great Plains Institute and Center for Energy and Environment have been tasked by the county to recruit cities. CEE community program and policy manager Katie Jones said Edina and St. Louis Park have climate action plans in place and have studied the concept of benchmarking buildings for two years.

Convincing city council members of the importance of benchmarking was not that difficult because of its growing acceptance and the removal of technical hurdles that cost building owners’ paperwork and time. And benchmarking ordinances have gained approval by focusing less on punitive measures and more on exposing building owners to data and linking them to programs that assist with efficiency projects, Jones said.

This year she believes several more suburbs and outstate cities will start benchmarking programs. The communities cannot be named until they commit to passing the ordinance, Jones said, but the collaborative program has generated plenty of interest....

Read the full article at Finance and Commerce

Related Links
Media: St. Louis Park will require owners of large buildings to report energy use (Sun Sailor)
Solutions for Communities: Energy Benchmarking