Energy Benchmarking for Public and Large Commercial Buildings
To comply with Ordinance 47.190, Minneapolis has released the second annual report (pdf) on energy use in public buildings. This new analysis of the energy use of 365 public and commercial buildings in Minneapolis reveals that these buildings have the combined potential to save $11 million on energy costs per year and avoid more than 62,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions by increasing their energy efficiency and reducing consumption by 10%. The City of Minneapolis’ new report analyzed the 2013 energy use of 194 commercial and 171 public buildings that submitted data to the City as required by the building energy benchmarking and transparency ordinance (building owners had until June 2014 to submit data). The buildings in the report include 98 million square feet of floor space and account for more than 1.5 billion mmbtu (million British thermal units) of total energy use, which is approximately the equivalent use of 47,000 houses or all of the households in South Minneapolis.
Key findings include:
- Of the 146 largest properties in Minneapolis, 27 are high-performers, 51 are considered above-average, and 68 are below-average performers. The below-average performing buildings could save 43 percent on energy costs if their performance improved to the current average.
- Of buildings reporting, hospitals, hotels, and schools have the greatest potential for energy savings. • Office buildings are generally high performers with an average Energy Star score of 87. (Energy Star scores range from 1 to 100, with 100 being the best and 50 being average. A building that scores 75 or higher is eligible for Energy Star certification.)
- The median Energy Star score for all buildings was 64. The median score was 38 for public buildings and 81 for private properties.
- Building age did not relate to the amount of energy the buildings used; older buildings that have been retrofitted with modern systems can have high Energy Star ratings.
Minneapolis is the first city in the Midwest to adopt a benchmarking and disclosure ordinance, and the seventh in the nation. Building enery disclosure is intended to increase energy performance awareness among building owners, tenants, policymakers and the public. Building energy disclosure was identified in the City's Climate Action Plan as a strategy to increase energy efficiency in commercial and public sector buildings.
Last updated May 28, 2015