News Analysis

D.C. Energy Performance Ratings Set National Precedent

The District’s privately owned buildings policy, which requires owners to use Energy Star Portfolio Manager to compare the energy performance of buildings 50,000 ft2 (4,600 m2) or larger to the national average and then publicly disclose their ratings, is the first of its kind in the U.S. A similar California law preceded the District’s but requires rating and disclosure only at the time of a transaction, such as a sale, lease, or financing. Annual rating and disclosure requirements set the D.C. policy apart, and it has already served as a model for similar laws in New York City and San Francisco. Many other cities and states are responding with similar initiatives, according to Andrew Burr at the Institute for Market Transformation, which helped Washington and New York develop their policies.

“The District deserves a lot of credit for putting poorly performing buildings out there for people to see,” said Burr, who notes that wasting energy in public buildings means wasting taxpayer money. “All governments should be helping to address fiscal responsibility” by paying more attention to energy performance, he said. “They are also showing the private sector that government will do what it asks industry to do.”

Published January 27, 2011

Melton, P. (2011, January 27). D.C. Energy Performance Ratings Set National Precedent. Retrieved from