Media: Minneapolis program shows energy and water use reductions in larger buildings (Minneapolis)

Mar 9, 2018

CEE is a key partner of Minneapolis, providing technical and outreach expertise for the energy benchmarking ordinance adopted in 2013.

Excerpt from the City of Minneapolis:

A new analysis of energy use for 434 public and commercial buildings in Minneapolis reveals that buildings reporting under the energy benchmarking ordinance are reducing energy and water consumption. The City of Minneapolis’ new report analyzed the 2016 energy use of 276 commercial and 158 public properties that submitted data to the City as required by the building energy benchmarking and transparency ordinance. (Building owners had until June 2017 to submit data.) The buildings in the report include 125 million square feet of floor space, 80 percent of the city’s commercial square footage. These buildings account for more than 686,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, the equivalent carbon dioxide production of about 143,000 households or roughly 80 percent of the households in Minneapolis.

All energy and water data associated with properties covered under the ordinance is now public in spreadsheet form and on an interactive dashboard. In this report:

  • The median Energy Star score for buildings that reported consistently from 2014 to 2016 rose two points over the three-year period to 75. The median score in 2016 was 73 for public buildings and 78 for commercial properties. (Energy Star scores range from 1 to 100, with 100 being the best and 50 being the national median. A building that scores 75 or higher is eligible for Energy Star certification.

  • Energy performance in public and commercial buildings showed promising trends toward the City’s energy conservation goals. A five-year analysis of public buildings indicated a 3 percent reduction in energy use while a three-year analysis of commercial properties showed a 3.4 percent reduction. (This calculation is adjusted for yearly variations in weather).

  • Water use shows a decline of 12 percent in public buildings and 5 percent in commercial buildings over a two-year period.

  • Parking ramps show the greatest energy improvement of the buildings reporting with total sector reduction of 36 percent. This is largely due to changing lighting controls and converting to LEDs.

  • Saint Mary’s Basilica made energy efficiency improvements that led to a remarkable 21 percent decrease in its energy use since 2014. (The calculation is adjusted for yearly variations in weather).

The energy use of these 434 buildings represents approximately 16 percent of Minneapolis’ citywide greenhouse gas emissions. The City has goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent by 2025 and 80 percent or more by 2050 from a baseline in 2006.

The benchmarking and transparency ordinance is intended to increase energy awareness and spur action to increase efficiency. More energy efficient buildings and energy efficiency projects give Minneapolis building owners, occupants and the community tremendous benefits including lower energy costs, higher property values, more comfortable buildings, reduced air pollution and jobs in energy efficiency services.

Read the original article at

Related Links
Minneapolis benchmarking ordinance website
2016 Energy Benchmarking Report