New Study: San Francisco’s Benchmarking Ordinance Requiring Commercial Buildings to Disclose Energy Data Shows Major Reduction in Energy Use and an Opportunity to Save Millions in Energy Costs


A report on the City and County of San Francisco’s Existing Commercial Buildings Energy Performance Ordinance (ECBO) reviewed the ordinance compliance, energy use by building, and savings that could be attributed from 2010-2014. The report’s findings, which include a 7.9% reduction in energy use during those years, and a net present value of $170 million in energy savings opportunities, are valuable data and a great resource to local governments and real estate and building professionals alike. From the City and County’s website:

Energy consumption by commercial properties in San Francisco has declined significantly since 2011 after the implementation of San Francisco’s Existing Commercial Buildings Energy Performance Ordinance, according to a new report released today from the Urban Land Institute Greenprint Center for Building Performance (Greenprint). The report is a collaboration between Greenprint and the San Francisco Department of the Environment.  

The San Francisco Existing Commercial Buildings Performance Report shows a 7.9-percent reduction in energy use across a cohort of 176 properties consistently tracked since 2010. A review of a broader group of 817 buildings found that the implementation of energy reduction measures could save tens of millions of dollars in costs over the lifetime of the projects, adding significantly to the properties’ value.

 The report’s press release offers quotes from real estate industry leaders, shared below (emphasis added here):

The green building movement got a significant boost when property owners saw evidence that tenants would seek out energy efficient properties as preferred locations. The ULI Greenprint/ San Francisco benchmarking report provides essential evidence that the San Francisco market is moving towards more efficient properties. Opportunities to support city-specific benchmarking in other markets should further sustainability in the real estate industry,” said Jaxon Love, Sustainability Program Manager, Shorenstein Realty Services, L.P.

“Cushman Wakefield manages buildings for thousands of owners-investors around the world, and we are keenly interested in research results like this that point to market-wide value from reducing energy expenditures. The gains and opportunity in San Francisco should motivate everyone in the industry to examine it for themselves,” said Steven M. Ring, CPM, RPA, LEED-AP, Managing Director of Cushman Wakefield.

To read the report in full, click here. To learn more on San Francisco Department of the Environment’s website, click here.

More on local governments across California exploring residential and/or commercial ordinances is here.

For information on CEC implementation on AB 802’s energy use data disclosure and benchmarking requirements, click here.

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