County-Wide Energy Reporting Law Passed in Maryland
Montgomery County, Maryland, recently became the first county in the U.S. to require energy benchmarking for large nonresidential buildings. Following in the footsteps of nine major cities, the county’s new law makes annual energy tracking and disclosure mandatory for both public and private commercial buildings (for background, see Energy Reporting: It’s the Law).
The law takes effect in stages, with County-owned buildings facing a reporting deadline of June 1, 2015, and all privately owned nonresidential buildings over 50,000 ft2 reporting by December 2017. The results will then be made available to the public. In other states, similar benchmarking laws have successfully encouraged building owners to invest in efficiency measures (see NYC Buildings Gain Three Energy Star Points in Year Two). Hoping to spur this kind of investment, the county also instituted a commercial PACE program, which allows energy investments to be paid back along with tax bills for the property.
The energy tracking can be performed using the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s free Portfolio Manager tool, but a licensed professional must also verify the data for the first submission and every three years thereafter. Montgomery County is only the second jurisdiction to require this verification provision, behind Chicago—signaling that “these jurisdictions are taking data quality seriously,” according to Amanda Hurley of the Institute for Market Transformation.
Pearson, C. (2014, June 1). County-Wide Energy Reporting Law Passed in Maryland. Retrieved from https://www.buildinggreen.com/newsbrief/county-wide-energy-reporting-law-passed-maryland