Energy Benchmarking for Public Buildings
To comply with Ordinance 47.190, Minneapolis has released the first annual report (pdf) on energy use in public buildings. The City sought voluntary agreements with Hennepin County, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, and Minneapolis Public Schools to include selected buildings from those entities in the report. The report includes benchmarking information from 102 public buildings, including over 21 million square feet.
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.
Key findings from the 2012 report include:
- Benchmarking and efficiency improvements are already leading to significant savings. From 2009 – 2012, energy efficiency investments in City buildings have saved more than $6 million in energy costs. Hennepin County’s tune-up of the Central Library is saving over $102,000 in energy costs every year.
- Additional energy efficiency improvements could lead to significant cost and emissions savings. If all 102 buildings reduced their energy use 10 percent, over $2.5 million in energy costs and over 15,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions would be avoided. If the top quartile of buildings ranked by energy use intensity (the most energy intensive buildings) reduced energy use 10 percent, the public would save over $900,000 in energy costs and over 4,500 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions would be avoided.
- The correlation between building age and energy use intensity is not as strong as might be expected. The age of a building accounts for only 11% of the variability in energy intensity between buildings of different ages. Older buildings that have been retrofitted with modern systems can obtain high ENERGY STAR scores and low EUI values. (City Hall scores an 87, with an energy use intensity of 84 kbtu/ft2). Energy codes that have been updated in the last twenty years have enabled higher performance for newer buildings that manage their energy use.
- Public buildings participating in disclosure are responsible for 3 percent of citywide greenhouse gas emissions. The buildings included in this disclosure report were responsible for 149,000 metric tons of CO2e emissions in 2012, while 4.9 million metric tons were associated with citywide activities in 2012. This demonstrates the opportunity present in public sector buildings to contribute to the City’s climate action goals.
More about the Commercial Building Energy Benchmarking and Disclosure ordinance.
Last updated Feb. 3, 2014