Seattle Adopts Progressive Energy Legislation

Earlier this month, City Council passed building energy legislation that propels Seattle into an elite group of cities with progressive policies aimed at driving energy efficiencies and reducing climate impacts. At the direction of Mayor Murray, OSE developed the new policies to keep Seattle on track to meet Seattle’s GHG emissions reduction goal in the building sector, as outlined in our Climate Action Plan . OSE worked closely with stakeholders from the building community and would like to recognize the significant input and expertise they provided which helped OSE to craft the final bills.  Seattle’s new energy legislation addresses three distinct areas:

  • Building Energy Transparency  The Benchmarking Amendments ordinance updates Seattle’s existing building energy benchmarking law to include public transparency of energy performance to help create a long-term market demand for energy efficiency.
  • Building Tune-Ups  The Building Tune-Ups ordinance phases in a periodic (every 5 years) tune-up requirement for commercial buildings 50,000 square feet or larger, beginning in 2018. Tune-ups would identify and correct no- or low-cost changes to building operations, measures that would pay back in 2-3 years.
  • City Leadership  The building community looks to the City to take a leadership role. An accompanying City-owned Building Tune-Ups resolution directs the City to conduct tune-ups on City-owned buildings one year in advance of the compliance deadlines in the Building Tune-Up ordinance.

OSE will now turn our efforts toward developing the accompanying Director’s Rules for the Benchmarking and Building Tune-Ups ordinances, with final Rules to be completed by September 2016. If you would like to become engaged in either or both of the Director’s Rules processes, please contact us at: NextGenEE@seattle.gov