State and Local Policy Database

Policies Targeting Existing Buildings

Existing buildings make up a significant amount of city energy use and emissions. Cities can adopt several policies to drive energy efficiency investments in existing buildings. Some policies, like benchmarking ordinances, seek to reduce information barriers to energy efficiency investments, while more stringent policies, like retrofit mandates, require building owners to take actions that directly reduce building energy use. Cities can also seek to encourage energy efficiency improvements by offering incentives for clean energy projects or creating energy reduction competitions and challenges. This section includes city-specific information on the following building policies:

  • Building performance standards—these policies set phased energy or emissions reductions for existing buildings.
  • Retrofit policies— these policies require building owners to modify existing buildings to improve energy efficiency and reduce energy consumption.
  • Retrocommissioning policies— these policies increase efficiency by improving the operations and maintenance of building systems.
  • Cross-cutting policies— these policies require building owners to choose an energy efficiency action from a menu of options.
  • Benchmarking and disclosure policies— these policies require building owners to measure, report, and disclose building energy use.
  • Rental disclosure policies— these policies require rental properties to disclose energy use information to prospective tenants.
  • Audit policies— these policies require a certified professional to inspect the building and identify potential upgrades.
  • Financial or nonfinancial incentives— these policies provide incentives that encourage building owners to invest in clean energy upgrades including rebates, financing, tax credits and density bonuses.
  • Other innovative policies— these are innovative policies that do not fall into the above categories. For example, New York’s Local Law 33 requires building owners to display an energy efficiency grade at each public entrance of a building.
  • Voluntary programs—these programs seek to encourage energy reduction in buildings through competitive or voluntary means.

We could not find information on whether the city incentivizes or requires energy-saving actions in existing buildings.

Last updated: July 2021

Incentives

Through the Green Path Program, projects that exceed energy code minimum requirements receive expedited permit reviews and preliminary plan reviews at no costs.

Bernalillo County also offers commercial building owners access to property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing for energy efficiency and solar energy projects.

The City supports a unique, community-led home energy audit and upgrade model that leverages Public Service New Mexico (PNM) efficiency programs with community knowledge and support through nonprofits Partnership for Community Action (PCA) and Prosperity Works (PW). Through PCA and PW efforts, frontline community members, known as Parent Leaders, are paid and trained to work within their communities to identify, qualify and schedule homes to receive free energy upgrades and audits. These Parent Leaders accompany the PNM technicians as they conduct audits and upgrade installations, often providing translation and acting as a trusted figure to ease interactions between homeowners and utility staff. While audits and upgrades are conducted, Parent Leaders also administer surveys to the homeowners, gathering valuable information on knowledge of energy programs, impacts of energy burdens and financial priorities.

Voluntary programs

Albuquerque runs the Mayor's Energy Challenge, a voluntary program that seeks to recruit 40 commercial participants to commit to an energy savings goal of 20% within 5 years. The majority of participants will be small business in underserved communities. 

Last updated: July 2021

We could not find information on whether the city incentivizes or requires energy-saving actions in existing buildings.

Last updated: July 2021

Commercial and multifamily benchmarking

Atlanta requires commercial buildings greater than 25,000 square feet to benchmark energy and water use. The policy covers 87% of commercial buildings and 96% of multifamily buildings. The policy holds a compliance rate of 50%. 

Energy audit requirements

The Commercial Buildings Energy Efficiency Ordinance requires building owners that benchmark and report energy and water data to conduct energy and water audits once every ten years unless the property meets certain efficiency requirements.

Incentives

Atlanta offers commercial and residential property owners access to property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. 

The city grants buildings that meet green development criteria both a density bonus and expedited permitting. 

Atlanta also partners with local organizations to run a Solarize Campaign that made solar more affordable and accessible for the residents and businesses of Atlanta.

Last updated: June 2021

We could not find information on whether the city incentivizes or requires energy-saving actions in existing buildings.

Last updated: July 2021

Commercial and Multifamily Benchmarking 

In June 2021, the State of Colorado passed energy benchmarking requirements for commercial and multifamily buildings greater than 50,000 square feet. 

Rental Energy Disclosure 

State bill HB21-1286 requires multifamily and commercial building owners to disclose energy-use information to prospective tenants and leasers. The requirement also requires dislcosure at the time of lease renewal. 

Building Performance Standards 

State bill HB21-1286 sets building performance requirements for multifamily and commercial buildings greater than 50,000 sqaure feet.

Time of Sale Requirement  

State bill HB21-1286 requires multifamily and commercial building owners to disclose energy-use information to prospective buyers. 

August 2021

Commercial and multifamily benchmarking

Austin's Energy Conservation and Audit Disclosure Ordinance (ECAD) requires commercial buildings to obtain ENERGY STAR ratings and disclose ratings to prospective buyers. The city adopted the ordinance in November 2008 and it became effective in 2012. Buildings of five or more units are required to comply with the ECAD.  

Austin’s multifamily ECAD requires multifamily property owners and managers to conduct energy audits every ten years and provide the results to current and prospective residents. A qualified ECAD Energy Professional must perform the audits.  

Single-family energy disclosure

The ECAD requires audits of single-family homes prior to a sale and audits of large multifamily buildings. This ordinance was adopted in November 2008 and was implemented in June 2009.  Austin MLS, the multiple listing service serving the Austin region, includes fields for energy efficiency features of homes listed on the market. 

Energy audit requirements

Austin’s Energy Conservation Audit and Disclosure Ordinance requires all homes and multifamily buildings (five or more units) that are ten years and older to have an energy audit performed.

Rental energy disclosure

Home sellers must disclose energy audit results to perspective buyers at the time of sale, and owners of multifamily buildings must disclose the energy guide to prospective renters.  

Other requirements

The city requires multifamily properties to reduce energy use by 20% if the property’s energy use intensity exceeds 150% of the average. These properties must also provide a High Energy Use report to current and prospective residents. 

Incentives

The utility offers low- to moderate-income households rebates for home weatherization and efficiency improvements. The city also offers density bonuses to commercial and residential properties that adhere to green building standards. Austin Energy also offers rebates for a variety of efficiency improvements for residentialmultifamily, and commercial properties, including a solar photovoltaic rebate program for residential customers. 

Austin's S.M.A.R.T. Housing program aims to motivate affrodable housing that is Safe, Mixed-Income, Accessible, Reasonability Priced, and Transit-Oriented (SMART) by offering incentives like fee waivers, density bonsues, tax incentives and development agreements. One of the requirements for SMART housing is meeting Austin's Energy Green Building standards. 

Last updated: August 2021

Commercial and multifamily benchmarking

Bakersfield complies with the State of California’s Assembly Bill (AB) 802. Per AB 802, owners of commercial and multifamily buildings greater than 50,000 square feet must benchmark energy usage. 

Last updated: July 2021

Incentives

Baltimore offers residential, commercial, and multifamily property owners access to property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing for both energy efficiency and solar energy projects.

Through the High-Performance Market-Rate Rental Housing ordinance, the city offers a tax credit for buildings that achieve LEED Silver or higher.

Baltimore’s Housing Department assists low-income households with energy efficient improvements through their Energy Conservation Services.

Through the LIGHT program, the city matches household with available services to perform home weatherization and energy efficient upgrades.  

The Retrofit Baltimore initiative provides home energy upgrades to low-income residents at no cost.

Baltimore partnered with Healthy Neighborhoods, a local nonprofit, to provide low-interest loans and grants for energy efficient upgrades to low-income nonprofits and small businesses.

The Baltimore City Community Resiliency Hub Program supports solar plus battery storage system installations at organizations.

Voluntary programs

The Baltimore Energy Challenge teaches low and no cost ways to save energy to Baltimore residents, businesses, and schools. Our AmeriCorps members install energy and water conservation equipment in homes. Installations include energy-efficient light bulbs, water-efficient showerheads, pipe wrap, power strips, and more. Since 2007, Civic Works has made energy installations in over 17,000 homes and reduced energy use by an average of 636 kWh per house each year.

Last updated: June 2021

We could not find information on whether the city incentivizes or requires energy-saving actions in existing buildings.

Last updated: July 2021

We could not find information on whether the city incentivizes or requires energy-saving actions in existing buildings.

Last updated: July 2021

We could not find information on whether the city incentivizes or requires energy-saving actions in existing buildings.

Last updated: July 2021

Commercial and multifamily benchmarking

In April 2013, the city council adopted the Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance (BERDO). The ordinance requires owners of commercial buildings (35,000+ square feet) and multifamily buildings (35+ units or 35,000+ square feet) to report their energy and water annually. The city publicly discloses the building-level energy use information on their website annually. The city provides guidance to help owners comply. The policy has achieved a compliance rate of 82% in 2018. 

Cross-cutting requirements

The city's Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance (BERDO) includes an Energy Action and Assessment requirement.  Large residential and commercial buildings have three main compliance pathways: reduce their emissions or energy usage by 15% or more, be certified as a highly efficient building through ENERGY STAR, or else perform an energy audit. Exemptions exist for high-efficiency buildings.

Incentives

The Boston Industrial Development Financing Authority’s Tax-Exempt Lease Program provides non-profit institutions a vehicle to pursue performance-based energy efficiency improvements through a lease financing agreement with a vetted Energy Service Company.

Massachusetts passed commercial PACE-enabling legislation for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Boston is currently developing guidelines to allow financing to begin in 2019.

The city’s Senior Save Program allows senior citizens earning less than 80% of the area median income to access funds to replace antiquated heating systems. In September 2020, Mayor Marty Walsh announced that the city would be doubling te ammount of funding available through the senior saves program. 

Boston Housing Authority (BHA) partnered with the Action for Boston Community Development to install energy efficient equipment and materials in BHA’s public housing developments, ultimately saving $24 million in energy costs.  

Voluntary programs

The E+ Green Building program requires buildings generate more energy than it uses. The program seeks to advance industry practice and public awareness of energy efficient green buildings and to construct high performance 1 to 4 unit residential building prototypes that can serve as models for future practice. This program is a pilot initiative of the City of Boston’s Department of Neighborhood Development (DND), Office of Environment & Energy Services, and the Boston Redevelopment Authority. There are currently three built project and two active projects. 

Boston used to implement the Mayor’s Carbon Cup is a voluntary commitment open to the largest building owners and operators in Boston. These owners and operators with 1 million square feet or more in their portfolio can commit to exceeding the Citywide carbon reduction goal by achieving 35% reduction from 2005 levels by 2020. The program is no long active. 

Last updated: June 2021

Incentives

The city offers a tax exemption incentive for new solar energy installations.

New construction designed to meet LEED standards receive varying FAR bonuses based on their certification level.

Last updated: July 2021

Incentives

The city offers Property Assessed Clean Energy for residential buildings. 

Last updated: July 2021

We could not find information on whether the city incentivizes or requires energy-saving actions in existing buildings.

Last updated: July 2021

Incentives

Charlotte grants density bonuses to developments that achieve LEED Gold certification. 

The city’s Transit Oriented Development plan (TOD) awards bonuses to projects that receive LEED Silver or equivalent standard, and/or have at least 25% of the development’s energy needs generated on-site.

Last updated: June 2021

Commercial and multifamily benchmarking

The Chicago Energy Use Benchmarking Ordinance requires commercial and multifamily buildings greater than 50,000 square feet to benchmark using Portfolio Manager and publicly disclose the information. Owners must provide reports annually and have a trained professional verify their data every three years. The city discloses buildings-specific data to the public on their website. The city adopted the ordinance in September 2013 and it became effective in June 2014.

Chicago offers training and guidance to building owners through a help center hotline. Chicago also worked with local utilities to simplify the data collection process by ensuring owners have access to whole-building energy use data for buildings. The Ordinance currently covers 73% of commercial buildings and 67% of multifamily buildings within the city.

Single-family energy disclosure    

Section 5-16-050 of Chicago's Municipal Code requires residential building owners to disclose a building's natural gas and electricity costs for the previous 12 months at the time of sale. 

Rental energy disclosure

Chicago requires building owners to disclose the cost of heating from the previous 12 months to prospective tenants. 

Other requirements

The Chicago Benchmarking Energy Ordinance created the Chicago Energy Rating System. The system assigns all buildings over 50,000 square feet an energy performance rating, which will be required to be posted in a prominent location and shared at time of listing the property for sale or lease. It went into effect in 2019. 

Incentives

The Retrofit Chicago Residential Partnership offers rebates for energy efficient appliance to residential buildings with no more than four units. The Tax-Increment Financing Neighborhood Improvement Program offers grants to residential building of one to four units for efficiency improvements including air sealing, roof insulation, and boiler or furnace upgrades. The city passed a property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing ordinance that will provide financing to commercial, institutional and residential building owners.

Voluntary programs

The city also have one voluntary program. The Retrofit Chicago Energy Challenge achieved energy savings. As 2017, it enrolled more than 90 buildings that account for 51.3 million square total.  Each participating property commits to reducing their energy consumption by 20% within the first five years after joining, and to tracking their energy and water data with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager.

Last updated: June 2021

Retrofit requirements

The Existing Home Energy Sustainability Ordinance requires homes undergoing structural remodels or additions to incorporate a minimum number of energy-saving actions.

Commercial and multifamily benchmarking

California has a statewide benchmarking and disclosure policy, outlined in Assembly Bill 802. As of June 2018, building owners of commercial buildings greater than 50,000 square feet must report and disclose their energy consumption annually. Starting June 2019, the policy extends these requirements to buildings with 17 or more residential utility accounts. In Chula Vista, the policy covers 49% of commercial buildings and 76% of multifamily buildings.

Moreover, Chula Vista adopted a benchmarking ordinance that requires commercial properties to track their energy usage and make improvements if they are not energy efficient.

Incentives

Chula Vista offers free home energy & water checkups for residents to determine opportunities for increased efficiency. The city also expedites permit reviews for projects that are at least 30% more efficient than current California energy efficiency standards. The city streamlined its solar permitting process for residential systems under 10 kW. The city offers commercial and residential properties access to property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing. 

Last updated: September 2021

Incentives

Cincinnati and the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance offer residents and business a range of incentives and financing options for home energy efficient improvements and renewable energy upgrades.

Cincinnati also offers the Community Reinvestment Area (RCA) Residential Tax Abatement to city residents, which allows building owners to pay taxes on the pre-improvement value of their property after making efficiency improvements.

The city also offers the CRA Commercial Tax Abatement Program to companies and developers for new construction and renovation of LEED buildings and non-LEED buildings pending a financial gap analysis. 

The city also allows commercial property owners to apply for property assessed clean energy financing for energy efficiency projects.

The city partnered with Duke Energy Ohio to offer a pilot program, WarmUp Cincy, that provides energy efficiency services and educational opportunities to dozens of income-eligible renters in the city.
 

Voluntary programs

The city runs the Cincinnati 2030 District, a voluntary benchmarking program for commercial buildings. 

Last updated: August 2021

Incentives

Cleveland partnered with the Northeast Ohio Advanced Energy District to offer commercial property owners access to property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. The city’s municipal utility, Cleveland Public Power, offers rebates for energy efficiency projects through a partnership with Efficiency Smart.

Through Empower Gas and Electric, the City offers low-cost energy efficiency packages to residential and small commercial building owners.

Cleveland’s Green Building Standard includes energy efficiency and renewable energy provisions that qualify new residential developments for property tax abatement for up to 15 years.

The City also supports commercial properties in the Cleveland 2030 District with financial assistance for energy efficiency, water conservation, and decarbonized transportation projects.

Voluntary programs

The city runs the Cleveland 2030 District, a voluntary benchmarking program for commercial buildings in the downtown area.

Last updated: June 2021

Incentives

Colorado Springs Utilities offers rebates for energy efficiency and renewable energy technology to residential and commercial customers.

The city's Builder Incentive Program encourages Colorado Springs homebuilders to construct high-efficiency homes. Qualified homes must are eligible for energy incentives beginning at $400. A bonus $350 incentive is available to those homes that are certified to meet ENERGY STAR, National Green Building Standard (NGBS), Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) or Passive House. 

Homes designed and built to operate efficiently using only electricity but located within our natural gas service territory have access to a pilot rebate of $3,000 if meeting specific requirements. 

Commercial and Multifamily Benchmarking 

In June 2021, the State of Colorado passed energy benchmarking requirements for commercial and multifamily buildings greater than 50,000 square feet. 

Rental Energy Disclosure 

State bill HB21-1286 requires multifamily and commercial building owners to disclose energy-use information to prospective tenants and leasers. The requirement also requires dislcosure at the time of lease renewal. 

Building Performance Standards 

State bill HB21-1286 sets building performance requirements for multifamily and commercial buildings greater than 50,000 sqaure feet.

Time of Sale Requirement  

State bill HB21-1286 requires multifamily and commercial building owners to disclose energy-use information to prospective buyers. 

Last updated: August 2021

 

We could not find information on whether the city incentivizes or requires energy-saving actions in existing buildings.

Last updated: July 2021

Commercial and multifamily benchmarking

The Energy and Water Benchmarking & Transparency Ordinance requires commercial and multifamily buildings greater than 50,000 square feet to benchmark and disclose annual energy and water data. 

Incentives

Columbus offers commercial property owners access to property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. They city also offers tax-increment financing through the Clean Energy Financing program for energy efficiency upgrades and solar projects in small businesses and large commercial/industrial buildings. Additionally, the city offers projects that exceed standard construction and renovation requirements with more favorable incentives. Columbus offers the Sustianable Steps program to provide commercial and residential properties free energy aduits. 

Last update: June 2021

Incentives

The city offers property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing to commercial, industrial, and multifamily residential properties for water conservation, energy-efficiency, and solar installation. The city also offers residential properties rebates for a range of home improvement actions that include energy efficiency upgrades. Dallas’s updated housing policy includes provisions to finance energy efficiency upgrades that bring low-income homes up to current energy codes.

Voluntary programs

Dallas runs a 2030 District to encourage voluntary benchmarking. 

Last updated: June 2021

We could not find information on whether the city incentivizes or requires energy-saving actions in existing buildings.

Last updated: July 2021

Commercial and multifamily benchmarking

In December 2016, Denver city council passed the Energize Denver program that requires commercial and multifamily buildings over 25,000 square feet to report their score. The program covers 85% of commercial and multifamily buildings. 

Cross-cutting requirements

The city requires developments over 25,000 square feet to choose one energy action from a menu of option in accordance with the Green Buildings Ordinance.

Developments may choose one action to achieve compliance: incorporate a green space into the building, install solar panels or purchase renewable energy covering 100% of the building’s electricity needs, achieve LEED Silver certification or better, enroll in Energize Denver’s Energy Program, or pay a fee. If a development chooses to enroll in the Energy Program, it must achieve an ENERGY STAR score of 85 or better or improve energy use intensity by 10% if the development is under 50,000 square feet and by 15% if the develop is over 50,000 square feet within five years. 

Rental Energy Disclosure 

State bill HB21-1286 requires multifamily and commercial building owners to disclose energy-use information to prospective tenants and leasers. The requirement also requires dislcosure at the time of lease renewal. 

Building Performance Standards 

State bill HB21-1286 sets building performance requirements for multifamily and commercial buildings greater than 50,000 sqaure feet.

Time of Sale Requirement  

State bill HB21-1286 requires multifamily and commercial building owners to disclose energy-use information to prospective buyers. 

Incentives

The Nonprofit Energy Efficiency Program provides funding to nonprofit organizations that pursue energy efficiency improvements. Property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing is available for commercial buildings for energy efficiency projects through Colorado’s C-PACE program. The Denver Green Code and Affordable Housing Pilot Program offers expedited permit and fee reduction program for new construction. Denver also caps solar permitting fees at $50 and offers a $150 credit to any permit choosing the ERI or performance path.

Last updated: August 2021

Commercial and multifamily benchmarking

In 2019, Des Moines adopted the Energy and Water Benchmarking Ordinance, which requires all commercial and multifamily buildings greater than 25,000 square feet to benchmark energy usage.

Voluntary programs

Des Moines runs Energize Des Moines, a voluntary benchmarking program with a goal of reducing energy use 10% by 2020. We we're unable to find information if the city is still implementing this program. 

Last updated: July 2021

Incentives

Grants and loans are available to commercial and multifamily buildings through Detroit's SmartBuildings Program. The program covers both energy efficient upgrades and renewable energy installation.

There is a local PACE program but the city does not administer the program.

Last updated: June 2021

Incentives

El Paso County offers commercial and multifamily property owners access to property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation projects.

Last updated: July 2021

Incentives

Tarrant County offers commercial and multifamily property owners access to property assessed clean energy financing for both energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

Voluntary programs

The city’s Better Buildings program is a voluntary benchmarking program for commercial buildings. The program ended in 2020. 

Last updated: August 2021

Commercial and multifamily benchmarking

Fresno complies with the State of California’s Assembly Bill (AB) 802. Per AB 802, owners of commercial and multifamily buildings greater than 50,000 square feet must benchmark energy usage. 

Incentives

Fresno EOC Weatherization Program installs energy conservation measures and provides energy education for limited income families. 

The city offers property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing for residential energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. 

Last updated: July 2021

Incentives

Grand Rapids offers commercial and multifamily property owners access to property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation projects.

The City of Grand Rapids' Community Development Department offers the Housing Rehabilitation Program

Voluntary programs

The city established a voluntary 2030 District, with 14 million square feet committed to the initiative. 

Last updated: June 2021

Incentives

The city offers Energy efficiency and solar permit rebates through the permitting process.

Last updated: July 2021

Incentives

Sections 4.3.2.B.(13).C and 4.3.2.B.(13).B grant density bonuses to developments that respectively install a renewable energy system providing at least 25% of energy demand and a combined heat and power system cover 50% of the building’s heating and cooling needs. 

The city also offers commercial property owners access to property assessed clean energy finance for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

Hartford also offers residents no- or low-interest loans for housing improvements through the Housing Preservation Loan Fund

The City of Hartford's Energy Equity Challenge included promoting the CT Green Bank's Solar for All initiative, which is a program that increases access to solar for low-income homes through incentives, loans, and other measures.

Voluntary programs

Hartford runs the Energy Equity Challenge, a voluntary program that seeks to reduce energy use through discounted or free energy audits and weatherization upgrades.

Last updates: June 2021

Incentives

Henderson offers the Weatherization Assistance Program to homeowners and renters. Low-income families have the opportunity to have their homes weatherized at no cost to them.

Last updated: July 2021

Incentives

The Honolulu Solar Loan Program provides income-eligible homeowners with zero-interest loans for the installation of solar hot water heaters and solar photovoltaic systems.

The Honolulu Home Repair Loan Program offers income-eligible homeowners acess to low-interest loans for home repairs including the installation or replacement of Energy Star certified appliances. 

The city offers expidited permitting for clean energy projects including solar photovoltaic systems, solar thermal or solar electric hot water heaters, and EV charging stations. 

Single-Family Energy-Use Disclosure Policies

Hawaii Law 508D-10.5 requires residential property owners to disclose energy-use information at the time of sale. 

Other

Hawaii Law 508D-10.5 requires multifmaily property owners to disclose energy-use information at the time of sale. 

Last updated: August 2021

Incentives

Energy efficiency financing is available to commercial and multifamily building owners through PACE Houston. The City of Houston fast-tracks solar panel permits for residential properties. 

The City also offers a LEED incentive program, which allows buildings registered for LEED certification to take part in the Quick Start program. The Quick Start program provides a means for expediting the plan review of certain large commercial design projects.

The Houston CAP, launched April 2020, includes a goal to expand utility energy financing and incentive programs and includes targets to promote tools that identify financial incentives and assistance with efficiency programs and promote weatherization programs to reduce residential energy consumption and focus on reducing energy burden to low-income populations by 2025.

CenterPoint and Entergy offer programs that target low-income housing and communities. The Targeted Low-Income program offered by CenterPoint targets low-income multi-family properties within the city limits to retrofit strip heating and cooling equipment with high efficiency heat pump equipment which will lower the resident’s energy costs.  Hard-to-reach programs include the Hard-to-Reach Standard Offer Program and Multi-Family MTP Hard-to-Reach. 

Voluntary programs

Houston started a voluntary commercial benchmarking program in partnerships with Better Buildings

Last updated: July 2021

Incentives

Indianapolis offers reduced permitting fees for commercial buildings achieving energy efficient criteria through the City's Green Building Incentive Program. We we're unable to determine if the city still implements this program. 

The EcoHouse Project is an energy-efficiency loan program for medium and low-income homeowners in Indianapolis. 

Last updated: July 2021

Incentives

The city expedites building plan review for developments achieving LEED certification.

JEA, the city’s municipal utility, offers energy efficiency rebates to commercial property owners. 

Last updated: August 2021

Commercial and multifamily benchmarking

Kansas City passed an energy benchmarking/rating and transparency policy for commercial, public, and multifamily residential buildings through the Energy Empowerment Program. The program requires public buildings greater than 10,000 square feet and commercial and multifamily buildings greater than 50,000 square feet to benchmark energy data. The policy covers 70% of commercial buildings and 83% of multifamily buildings in the city. 

Incentives

Homeowners may apply for property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing for energy-efficient and water-saving home through the HERO Program. The city also expedites permits for solar energy systems.

Last updated: June 2021

Incentives

Residential and commercial property owners may access tax increment financing for retrofits if they qualify. The city favors projects that achieve an energy-savings certification. The city's Community Development Department offers financial assistance for residential improvements through the Blighted Properties Redevelopment Program. The department requires projects that receive funding from the program to achieve ENERGY STAR standards.

Last updated: June 2021

Incentives

Lakeland Electric provides rebates for energy efficiency improvements to residential and commercial customers. 

Last updated: August 2021

Incentives

Las Vegas offers property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing for commercial energy efficiency improvements and solar installations. 

Last Update: August 2021

We could not find information on whether the city incentivizes or requires energy-saving actions in existing buildings.

Last updated: July 2021

Commercial and multifamily benchmarking

Commercial and multifamily buildings comply with the California Energy Commission’s Energy Benchmarking Program

Last updated: August 2021

Retrocommissioning requirements

The Existing Buildings Energy and Water Efficiency Program mandates retrocommissioning requirements for commercial and multifamily buildings. 

Commercial and multifamily benchmarking

The State of California adopted Assembly Bill (AB) 802 in October of 2015. AB 802 requires commercial and multifamily buildings greater than 50,000 square feet and larger to benchmark energy usage annually. Los Angeles adopted an ordinance that builds upon AB 802 and require all buildings over 20,000 square feet (both commercial and residential) to annually benchmark energy and water usage. The ordinance currently requires buildings over 50,000 square feet to comply with the law. The ordinance takes effect for buildings between 20,000 and 50,000 square feet in June 2019. The ordinance covers 76% of commercial buildings and 50% of multifamily buildings.

Energy audit requirements

In addition to retrocommissioning, the Existing Buildings Energy and Water Efficiency Program mandates energy auditing for commercial and multifamily buildings. 

Incentives

LADWP runs a low-income solar and energy efficiency programs.

Last updated: June 2021

Incentives

Louisville offers incentives through the Energy Project Assessment District. The city began offering financing for energy efficiency projects in commercial buildings over a twenty year term. The program is similar to PACE financing programs. Commercial building owners can find energy efficiency incentives through the Louisville Energy Alliance.

Voluntary programs

The Louisville Energy Alliance runs the Kilowatt Crackdown, a voluntary program that encourages building owners to take energy-saving actions. 

Last updated: June 2021

Incentives

The city offers PACE financing to commercial buildings for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. 

The city's Affordable Housing Fund RFP gives preference to projects with energy efficiency, renewable energy and/or sustainable building designs. 

The city's MadiSUN Backyard Solar Grant program provides grants to non-profits and affordable housing provides. 

Last updated: July 2021

Incentives

Hidalgo County offers commercial and multifamily property owners access to PACE financing for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation projects.

Last updated: July 2021

Incentives

MLGW, the city’s municipal utility, administers the Share the Pennies program to provide low-income homeowners with grants to make energy efficiency improvements.

MLGW offers businesses and organizations seeking LEED certification additional incentive funds.

The Downtowm Memphis Commisssion program offers the option of longer tax abatement periods for projects that are LEED certified, attain Net Zero Energy Building certification, or attain MLGW’s EcoBUILD certification.

Last updated: July 2021

Incentives

Mesa's Energy Resources Department offers a solar program for City of Mesa electric customers for qualified residents and commercial property owners in Mesa’s electric service area 

Last updated: July 2021

Commercial and multifamily benchmarking

City of Miami is a partner with Miami Dade County on the Building Efficiency 305 (BE305) initiative which is part of the City Energy Project. The program will require public and private buildings over 20K square feet to report and share publicly their energy usage data via EnergyStar Portfolio Manager. The city has not yet launched this program.

Incentives

Financing is available through the City of Miami PACE programs to residential and commercial building owners making energy efficiency upgrades.

The city offers expedited permitting and density bonuses for residential and commercial building owners implementing green building measures into their buildings.

The city waives and expedites permitting for residents looking to install rooftop solar. 

In November of 2020, Miami passed Ordinance 13944, which excludes solar equipment from a building’s height profile

Voluntary programs

The city launched the Building Efficiency 305 Challenge to encourage building owners to voluntarily benchmark energy and water use. 

Last updated: September 2021

Incentives

The Milwaukee Energy Efficiency (Me2) program offers rebates to Milwaukee homeowners for energy efficiency upgrades. Me2 also offers commercial PACE funding and rebates for energy efficiency upgrades for small buildings and manufacturing facilities.

Milwaukee's Targeted Investment Neighborhood and low income weatherization programs grant energy efficiency upgrades and weatherization work to low income homes.

Last updated: July 2021

Retrocommissioning requirements

The city’s 2019 expansion to the Commercial Building Energy Benchmarking and Transparency Ordinance requires an ASHRAE level 1 evaluation or an accepted tune-up/recommissioning within the past 5 years for the lowest-performing buildings. This requirement is only enforced if there is an option available at no cost to the owner.

Commercial and multifamily benchmarking

Minneapolis requires commercial and multifamily buildings 50,000 square feet and greater to benchmarking energy consumption and report the data to the city. The compliance rate was 93% for commercial buildings and 84% for multifamily buildings in 2018.

Single-family energy disclosure    

The city requires homeowners to disclose their energy consumption at the time of sale. The compliance rate was 95% in 2020.  

Rental energy disclosure

Owners of select rental properties are required to disclose energy use information to residential tenants at time of application if applications are provided, or post the information in the property if no applications are provided.

Energy audit requirements

Per the time of sale residential energy disclosure requirement, building owners are required to undergo an energy assessment.

In 2020, the city is requring a pilot group of low-performing commercial properties to recieve energy audits at no cost. The city will use budget money to cover the cost of the audits. 

Incentives

Minneapolis offers density bonuses to residential and commercial construction that aim to achieve a 35% above code energy rating.

Minneapolis offers PACE financing to commercial buildings for solar and energy efficiency improvements. The city offers a two percent loan program to small businesses for energy efficiency improvements. Minneapolis also offers a Commercial Energy Efficiency Loan program

The city’s Green Business Cost Share program provides financial incentives for solar incentives. The program prioritizes commercial and multifamily properties within the bounds of Minneapolis Green Zones or those participating in the 4d Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing Program because they aim to expand energy efficiency and renewable energy installation in low-income areas.

The City pays for free Home Energy Squad visit to homeowners anywhere in the City with incomes below 100% AMI. This program is offered through the city's partner, CEE. 

Last updated: June 2021

Incentives

Through the Nashville Energy Works program, city residents may access low-interest loans from $1,000 to $35,000 for energy efficient upgrades.

Nashville offers density bonus for developments in the Central Business District if the projects achieve LEED certification. The density bonus scales with the stringency of the certification.

The city’s Home Energy Savings Program engages volunteers to conduct energy-savings upgrades to homeowners at no-cost to income-eligible households.

The Metro Government, NES, and TVA have launched a home weatherization program called NES Home Energy Uplift for limited-income families who own homes in Davidson County. Energy upgrades may include weatherization, air sealing, high-efficiency heat pumps, high-efficiency air conditioners, duct replacement/repairs, ENERGY STAR windows, building envelope insulation, high-efficiency lighting, crawl space and attic insulation, heat pump water heaters, ENERGY STAR appliances, and/or whole-house ventilation.

Last updated: June 2021

Incentives

The City has participated in and promotes the State Green Bank's C-PACE program. 

Last updated: August 2021

Incentives

The New Orleans Redevelopment Authority provides financing for energy efficiency projects in affordable housing units.

Entergy New Orleans’s Energy Smart program offers energy efficiency incentives for commercial and residential building owners. The program also sets aside incentives for income-eligible households.

In 2019, the Finance Authority of New Orleans shifted its model to only provide loans to properties that install EE, solar or green infrastructure resilience upgrades.

Voluntary programs

The city implements a voluntary program, the NOLA Energy Challenge, that engages commercial and multifamily buildings in tracking and lowering their energy use. 

Last updated: June 2021

Building performance standards

Local Law 97 (formerly Intro 1253) of 2019 sets emissions caps for buildings larger than 25,000 square feet, beginning in 2024, which will cut carbon emissions at least 40 percent by 2030 and over 80 percent by 2050 from the affected buildings. Buildings that do not comply will face fines set at $268 per ton of emissions that are in excess of the individual building’s cap in a given year. By 2030, this law is projected to reduce New York City’s carbon emissions by 6 million tons. 

Retrocommissioning requirements

Local Law 87 of 2009 mandates that buildings 50,000 gross square feet or larger undergo periodic retrocommissioning measures.

Retrofit requirements

NYC Local Law 88 of 2009 requiring lighting retrofits to meet current NYCECC standards, and to install electric sub-meters for each tenant space.

Commercial and multifamily benchmarking

New York City’s Local Law 84 (LL84) requires commercial buildings larger than 50,000 square feet and groups of buildings on a single tax lot totaling 100,000 square feet or more to benchmark and disclose annual energy data through ENERGY STAR. Local Law 133 expanded LL84 to require buildings 25,000 square feet and greater to benchmark energy usage. 

Energy audit requirements

In addition to retrocommissioning, Local Law 87 of 2009 mandates that buildings 50,000 gross square feet or larger undergo periodic energy audits.

Other requirements

Local Law 33 of 2018 requires building owners subject to the city’s benchmarking ordinance to display an “energy efficiency grade” at each public entrance of the building.

Incentives

The city established a property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing program for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.  The city also offers a J-51 tax abatement and exemption for energy efficient upgrades in affordable housing projects. The city offers a Solar Electric Generating System (SEGS) tax abatement. 

Voluntary programs

The city also offers a voluntary program, The Carbon Challenge, that is a public-private partnership between the Mayor's Office of Sustainability and leaders in the private, institutional, and non-profit sectors who have committed to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 30% or more over ten years. The Mayor's Office provides support, resources, and recognition as participants pursue different energy efficiency improvements, efficient on-site generation, and sustainability initiatives.

Last updated: June 2021

Commercial and multifamily benchmarking

New Jersey's Clean Energy Act of 2018 requires benchmarking by owners and operators of commercial buildings over 25,000 sq. ft. using the USEPA Portfolio Manager tool.

Last updated: July 2021

Commercial and multifamily benchmarking

California adopted Assembly Bill (AB) 802 requiring all buildings 50,000 square feet and more to benchmark. The city does not have a mandatory benchmarking and disclosure program. AB 802 covers 56% of commercial and 44% of multifamily buildings in Oakland.

Incentives

Residential and commercial building owners may access property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing for energy efficiency improvements, renewable energy installation, and water conservation actions. The Oakland Building Maintenance Code includes a streamlined and expedited solar permitting provision.

The City runs its own programs through its Residential Lending & Housing Rehabilitation Services that provides loans and grants for building energy efficiency improvements. 

The Weatherization and Energy Retrofit Revolving Loan Program offers income-eligible property owners 0% interest loans for home improvement projects. The program is only eligible to owner-occupied residential properties with less than 5 units. 

Last updated: June 2021

Incentives

The city offers a single incentive for energy efficiency upgrades through the Green Home Loan program, where residents may access a 3% fixed-interest loan within 48 months.

Last updated: July 2021

Incentives 

The city offers Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing to commercial property owners for energy efficiency improvements. 

Last updated: August 2021

Commercial and multifamily benchmarking

In December 2016, Orlando passed the Building Energy and Water Efficiency Strategy (BEWES), an energy benchmarking and transparency policy. The policy requires existing commercial and multifamily buildings larger than 50,000 square feet to track whole-building energy use. Building owners must report energy use data to the City annually and make their information transparent to the real estate marketplace. The city achieved a compliance rate of 40%. 

Cross-cutting requirements

Starting in May 2020, in accordance with the Building Energy and Water Efficiency Strategy, owners of buildings larger than 50,000 square feet that score under the national ENERGY STAR score of 50 must either perform an energy audit or perform a retro-commission one time every five years. 

Incentives

Residential and commercial property owners may access property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing for both energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy installations. 

The City launched a Green Building Incentive Program in Jan 2021 to encourage developers to build LEED Silver or greater, providing a one time property tax rebate. 

The city partners with the non-profit Solar and Energy Loan Fund (SELF) and the municipal Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) to provide property owners with home energy improvement loans. The program is far-reaching and provides additional support to low-income homeowners.

The city partners with Solar United Neighbors (SUN) to offer the Orlando Solar Co-op which helps residents save money on solar installations through bulk negotiations. 

The municipal utility, OUC, offers the Efficiency Delivered program that provides up to $2,500 of energy and water efficiency upgrades to residents. The program provides a greater cost-share for income-qualified participants. 

Voluntary programs

The city participates in the Better Buildings Challenge

Last updated: September 2021

Commercial and multifamily benchmarking

The State of California adopted Assembly Bill (AB) 802 in October of 2015. The policy requires commercial and multifamily buildings greater than 50,000 square feet and larger to benchmark energy usage annually. California requires commercial buildings to obtain and disclose ENERGY STAR ratings to transactional counter parties and the California Energy Commission at the time of a sale, lease, or financing for the entire building through AB 1130.

Last Update: June 2021

Retrocommissioning requirements

Philadelphia's Building Energy Performance Program requires nonresidential buildings greater than 50,000 square feet to conduct a building tune-up if the building does not meet high energy performance standards. 

Commercial and multifamily benchmarking

Bill No. 120428 requires commercial and multifamily residential buildings over 50,000 square feet to benchmark and disclose energy usage data.  The policy covers 69% of commercial buildings and 82% of multifamily buildings.

Incentives

The city grants commercial property owners access to PACE financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. 

Philadelphia’s EnergyWorks program provides loan opportunities for energy efficiency upgrades in commercial and residential buildings. 

The city's Solarize Philly program includes financing support for low-income households to take part in the initiative.

Voluntary programs

Philadelphia is a partner and participant in Green Building United's 2030 District.

Last Updated: August 2021

Incentives

The city covers the cost to register a home under LEED for Homes if it achieves LEED Platinum. The city also offers to apply a zoning overlay to allow for greater density to developers who voluntarily adopt the City’s Walkable Urban Code which has higher performance standards and a requirement for 75% shade around the new development.

Phoenix’s low income housing rehabilitation program provides a loan covering 75% of home improvements costs, which includes home energy efficiency upgrades, at 0% interest.

Additionally, the $100,000 Sustainable Home Design Competition challenges architects to design a home that uses 80% less energy without rooftop solar systems and costs the same as standard construction. The winning design can be downloaded free online.

The City is working with APS as part of their community solar program to add solar to low income Phoenix housing that will provide a $15 per month credit to low income residents.  The City is adding 1100 units in a LEED Platinum choice neighborhood that will have solar on every roof and $15 per month bill credit to each resident. 

Voluntary programs

The city supports Kilowatt-hour Krackdown, a program created by the Building Owners and Managers Association. The program allows building owners to voluntarily benchmark their energy performance. The city is prohibited by state law to require mandatory benchmarking or energy action requirements.

Last Updated: June 2021

Commercial and multifamily benchmarking

Pittsburgh formally adopted a mandatory benchmarking and disclosure ordinance for commercial buildings over 50,000 square feet. The first compliance deadline was in June 2018, and the corresponding data will be released in 2019. The ordinance covers 67% of commercial buildings. 

Incentives

Pittsburgh expedites solar permitting. The city also offers density bonuses of 20% in height and 20% in floor area to commercial projects that meet LEED efficiency standards. 

Allegheny County offers commercial property assessed clean energy (C-PACE) financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. 

Voluntary programs

Pittsburgh runs a 2030 District and participates in the administration of Sustainable Pittsburgh to encourage energy reduction in commercial buildings. 

Last Update: August 2021

Commercial and multifamily benchmarking

The city’s Commercial Building Energy Performance Reporting Ordinance requires buildings of 20,000 square feet and greater to benchmark energy performance. 

Single-family energy disclosure    

Portland adopted the Home Energy Score Policy by unanimous decision in 2016. The Policy requires home sellers to disclose home energy performance scores. The home seller must also disclose associated costs and cost-effective approaches to improving efficiency.

Energy audit requirements

Per the Home Energy Score Policy, home sellers must complete an energy assessment of their homes prior to listing the property for sale.

Incentives

Portland offers a financing option for energy efficiency improvements through its commercial property assessed clean energy (C-PACE) financing program.

The city also grants development bonuses to buildings meeting energy efficiency standards. 

Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits Fund (PCEF) provides funding and support to non-profits pursuing climage related projects and grants. Funding can be used for a wide variety of actions including paying for a contractor to conduct an energy audit of your building or sending staff to a training to learn more about clean energy 

Last Updated: June 2021

Incentives

Providence offers commercial property owners access to property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Residential property owners may also access PACE financing for renewable energy installations only.

The city also provides expedited solar permit reviews for qualifying commercial buildings.

Voluntary programs

Providence launched a voluntary buildings energy challenge program called RePowerPVD in April 2018. 

Last Updated: August 2021

We could not find information on whether the city incentivizes or requires energy-saving actions in existing buildings.

Last updated: July 2021

Incentives

Raleigh offers a single grant incentive for energy efficiency projects through the Building Upfits Grant program.

Last Updated: June 2021

Commercial and multifamily benchmarking

Reno adopted the Energy and Water Efficiency Program in January 2019. The program requires commercial and multifamily buildings 30,000 square feet and greater to benchmark energy and water performace. The city also created the voluntary ReEnergize Reno program to improve building energy and water efficiency 20% by 2025. Participating buildings must track energy and water data through ENEGRY STAR Portfolio Manager and disclose results to the City of Reno. The city offers technical support to participating properties.

Cross-cutting requirements

Reno's Energy and Water Efficiency Program requires building owners to achieve performance targets twice within seven years of their baseline, or pursue other measures, such as an energy audit, LEED certification, or participation in the utility-sponsored energy efficiency program. 

Incentives

Reno allows commercial building owners access to PACE financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

Voluntary programs

The ReEnergize Reno  program seeks to improve the efficiency of commercial, industrial, and multifamily buildings by cutting energy and water waste in large buildings. 

Last Update: August 2021

Incentives

Richmond provides expedited permitting for solar PV projects. 

The Green and Healthy Homes Initiative provides comprehensive housing assessments and interventions, integrating the areas of lead hazard reduction, Healthy Homes, weatherization, energy efficiency, and related work to raise housing standards and quality of life for all residents. It will also break down barriers to full employment for low-income residents and promote equity through training and employment efforts.

Last Updated: July 2021

Commercial and multifamily benchmarking

Riverside complies with the State of California’s Assembly Bill (AB) 802. Per AB 802, owners of commercial and multifamily buildings greater than 50,000 square feet must benchmark energy usage. 

Incentives

Through the Green Riverside program, commercial and residential building owners may access rebates for energy efficiency upgrades and/or energy-saving designs during the construction phase.

Commercial and residential property owners may also qualify for property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing for energy efficiency improvements, renewable energy installation, and water conservation measures.

Single- and two-family households may also qualify for express solar permitting if the property meets specific standards.

The city’s municipal utility operates the Energy Savings Assistance Program that provides income-eligible applicants with no-cost home energy improvements.

Last Updates: July 2021

Incentives

The city offers home energy improvements through the Sustainable Homes Rochester program. The program received funding from NYSERDA to promote clean heating and cooling technologies. The city aims to prioritize low-income households. The city also offers C-PACE financing. 

Last Update: July 2021

Commercial and multifamily benchmarking

The State of California adopted Assembly Bill (AB) 802 in October of 2015. It will require commercial and multifamily buildings greater than 50,000 square feet and larger to benchmark energy usage annually. California requires commercial buildings to obtain and disclose ENERGY STAR ratings to transactional counter parties and the California Energy Commission at the time of a sale, lease, or financing for the entire building through AB 1130.

Incentives

The city offers residential and commercial property owners access to property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing for energy efficiency and solar installation projects. It also provides height bonuses for green buildings (incentive for building to CALGreen Tier 1 or Tier 2 standards) adopted in Sept. 2013 and for green roofs and rooftop farms adopted in March 2015.

SMUD, the city’s municipal utility, offers a range of rebates for home energy efficiency improvements. The utility also offers new electric vehicle drivers a free level 2 charger for residential properties. It also offers businesses an incentive for installing an electric vehicle charger.

SMUD also runs the All-Electric Smart Homes program offers developers of newly constructed homes grants to install all-electric infrastructure on the property. Through the Home Performance Program, SMUD offers owners of existing home $13,750 for a comprehensive gas-to-electric conversion.

Last updated: June 2021

Commercial and multifamily benchmarking

St. Paul adopted the Energy Benchmarking Ordinance to require commercial and multifamily buildings greater than 50,000 square feet to benchmark energy usage. The policy does not require buildings to disclose data. 

Incentives

The city offers commercial property owners access to property assessed clean energy (C-PACE) financing for energy efficiency upgrades and renewable energy installations through the St. Paul Port Authority. 

Additionally, developments receiving more than $200,000 must meet the Minnesota SB 2030 energy standard. 

The city also administers the Energy Smart Home program to offer residents zero-interest loans for energy efficient upgrades. The program is available for all residents, but allows income-eligible participants to borrow 100% of project costs without a match. However, it is currently inactive while the city amends its terms.

Saint Paul offers commercial and multifamily property owners access to financing for energy efficiency upgrades in new construction and improvements through the Saint Paul Port Authority’s MinnPACE and Trillion BTU programs.

Voluntary programs

Beginning in 2018, the city implemented a voluntary benchmarking program for commercial and multifamily buildings called Race to Reduce. In January 2020, the city passed a mandatory benchmarking ordinance, under which about 78.6 million square feet benchmarked in 2020. The City maintains the Race to Reduce to recognize all properties (and their owners) that make a full benchmarking disclosure, or about 79% of 296 properties that benchmarked. The city also recognizes buildings that have an ENERGY STAR score of 95 and above.

Last Update: June 2021

Commercial and multifamily benchmarking

Salt Lake City passed the Energy Benchmarking & Transparency ordinance. The ordinance requires commercial buildings 25,000 square feet to comply. 

Energy audit requirements

Salt Lake City requires buildings owners perform one energy-saving action. Per the Energy Benchmarking & Transparency Ordinance, commercial buildings that score 49 or below in ENERGY STAR must undergo energy audits.

Incentives

Through the Economic Development Loan Fund, the city offers loans to commercial property owners for energy efficiency upgrades and retrofits.

The city provides expedited plan reviews for commercial and residential properties meeting green building standards.

Salt Lake City offers commercial property owners access to property assessed clean energy (C-PACE) financing for energy efficiency and solar installation projects.

Voluntary programs

The city established the Mayor's Skyline Challenge in autumn 2014, a voluntary energy efficiency program open to organizations throughout Salt Lake City. The program challenged property owners, managers and tenants to attend recurring energy efficiency workshops led by the City and local efficiency experts, culminating annually in the Mayor's Skyline Challenge Awards. We we're unable to determine if the program is still on going. 

Last Updated: June 2021

Incentives

PACE was recently established within the city limits and its managed by the City's Economic Development Department and AACOG. 

The city’s STEP program offers residential and commercial property owners incentives for energy efficient upgrades such as weatherization, HVAC replacement, efficient construction etc. 

The municipal utility provides solar PV rebates to residential customers.

The city's Under One Roof program provides funding for energy efficient roof installations to qualified homeowners.

The San Antonio Green & Healthy Home program assists low- to moderate-income households with creating energy-efficient and sustainable homes.

Last Update: June 2021

Commercial and multifamily benchmarking

San Diego's Building Energy Benchmarking Ordinance requires commercial and multifamily buildings greater than 50,000 square feet and greater to benchmark energy usage annually. 

Incentives

Through Resolution R-298001, the city offers expedited permitting to residential and commercial projects that meet green building standards outlined in Policy Number 900-14. The city also provides expedited permitting for renewable energy. 

Commercial and residential property owners may access property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing for both energy efficiency upgrades and renewable energy installations.

Last Updated: June 2021

Retrofit requirements

San Francisco’s Residential Energy Conservation Ordinance requires a minimum set of retrofits at time-of-sale. This applies to residential properties built before 1978.

Commercial and multifamily benchmarking

Chapter 20 of the San Francisco Environment Code requires all commercial buildings 10,000 square feet and greater and multifamily buildings 50,000 square feet and greater to benchmark energy data in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. The policy covers 88% of commercial buildings. San Francisco now also requires multifamily buildings larger than 50,000 square feet to participate. The city’s compliance rate is 84%. The program has achieved energy savings of 6.1% among buildings that benchmarked energy data between 2014-2018.

Cross-cutting requirements

Chapter 20 of the San Francisco Environment Code, the city’s benchmarking ordinance, requires commercial building owners to conduct an energy audit or retrocommissioning every five years.

Incentives

San Francisco provides commercial and residential property owners a range of financing options and incentives for energy efficiency projects through the Energy Watch and BayREN programs.

The city also offers property assessed clean energy financing to both residents and business owners for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation projects.

San Francisco’s GoSolarSF program offers several incentives for property owners installing solar PV systems. There are additional incentives set aside for income-eligible homeowners. 

SFPUC Hetch Hetchy Power offers energy efficiency rebates to its customers, including new construction and retrofits.

Voluntary programs

SF Environment developed the Strategic Energy Assessment, a long-term financial planning approach to managing energy efficiency and carbon emissions. Through the Strategic Energy Assessment (SEA), SFE seeks to improve the capital planning process and output to be more carbon aware for building owners. The SEA has been introduced as a voluntary option, and is accepted as a voluntary alternative to a conventional ASHRAE Level 2 audit or retrocommissioning study required by San Francisco’s Existing Buildings Ordinance.

Last Update: June 2021

Commercial and multifamily benchmarking

California Assembly Bill (AB) 802 requires the owners of buildings over 50,000 square feet to benchmark energy usage. San Jose's Energy and Water Building Performance Ordinance requires all privately owned buildings over 20,000 square feet to benchmark energy usage. 

Cross-cutting requirements

The Energy and Water Building Performance Ordinance requires owners of low-performing buildings greater than 20,000 square feet to conduct an energy audit or to perform retrofitting or retrocommissioning of the building.

Incentives

Commercial and residential property owners may access property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing for energy efficiency improvements and solar installations.

In December 2020, the California Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Project (CALeVIP) launched in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties, known as the Peninsula-Silicon Valley Incentive Project. As a partner in this Project, the City of San José offered $14 million in incentives for multi-unit dwellings, businesses, and public properties to install Level 2 charging stations or DC Fast Chargers and the electrical infrastructure associated with the stations. The Project was met with high demand and as of March 2021, all funds have been reserved or provisionally reserved. Of the total amount of incentive funding in San Jose, 25% will be allocated to sites in disadvantaged or low-income communities. As a program requirement, all electric vehicle supply equipment incentivized as part of the program must be Energy Star certified.

San José offers over the counter (and in many cases, online) or expedited permitting for solar PV systems.

Through the Affordable Housing Investment Plan, the city offers priority financing for developers incorporating green building features into affordable housing units.

Voluntary programs

San Jose runs the Climate Smart Challenge, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 10% in 25 large commercial or higher educational buildings totaling at least 5 million square feet. The program ended in 2020. 

In 2020, the City successfully implemented the Building Performance Leaders  program, a Better Buildings Challenge – like program.  The participants who joined pledged to reduce their aggregate carbon emissions by 10% from December 2019-December 2020 and committed to complete 2 of 3 actions: 1) Participate in one energy/water reduction behavior change campaign and one transportation behavior change campaign throughout the year; 2) Perform retro-commissioning or capital improvements as per Building Performance Ordinance requirements, or 3) Sign up for San José  Clean Energy’s Total Green 100% carbon-free and renewable power option. Currently, staff are working on analyzing end of program data from the participants to determine the final carbon emission reduction. 

Last Update: August 2021

Building performance standards

The City of Seattle lobbied actively for WA state bill HB1257, which mandates that existing commercial buildings 50k sq feet or greater meet certain energy use thresholds. The City is also analyzing a city-specific requirement that could be based on a carbon metric. This strategy is outlined in the Mayor's Climate Action Plan.

Retrocommissioning requirements

The Seattle Tune-Up Policy (Seattle Municipal Code 22.930) requires the owners of nonresidential buildings over 50,000 square feet to perform building tune-ups to optimize energy and water system performance once every five years.

Commercial and multifamily benchmarking

Seattle formally adopted Municipal Code 22.920 that required commercial and multifamily buildings greater than 20,000 square feet to benchmark energy usage. The public may access building data on an open data map. The benchmarking policy covers 83% of commercial and multifamily buildings. The policy has achieved a compliance rate of 100%. 

Energy audit requirements

In addition to tune-ups, the Seattle Tune-Up Policy (Seattle Municipal Code 22.930) requires the owners of nonresidential buildings over 50,000 square feet to perform energy assessments to optimize energy and water system performance once every five years.

Incentives

Seattle offers expedited permitting to green building projects through its Priority Green program. The city runs an incentive zoning program that requires developers to provide public benefits to achieve greater height/density on their building site. Through Seattle's Director's Rule, land use departures (e.g. floor area increases) are allowed for both residential and commercial construction that achieve green standards. Additional development capacity like floor area and height are offered through the Land Use Code via the Green Building Standard and Living Building Pilot.  

The city provides a rebate for residential households to switch from oil to electric heat pumps. Seattle City Light, the city’s municipal utility, also provides rebates for cost-effective, above-code construction and for existing building efficiency improvements.

Seattle has also partnered with two nonprofits to provide energy efficiency financing and utility repayment plans.

Seattle City Light offers income-eligible customers the opportunity lower electricity bills by 60%.

Seattle City Light awarded three affordable housing projects with solar energy grants as part of the utility’s Green Up program.

Voluntary programs

The city runs the Seattle 2030 District, a voluntary benchmarking program for commercial buildings. 

Last Updated: September 2021

Incentives

The Low Income Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) provides eligible households with home energy conservation services. Households that are eligible for weatherization services. Homeowners and tenants with their landlord’s permission are eligible.  

Last updated: June 2021

Building performance standards 

Ordinance 71132 requires commercial, multifamily, institutional, and municipal buildings greater than 50,000 square feet to achieve phased energy use reductions. 

Commercial and multifamily benchmarking

St. Louis adopted the Building Energy Awareness bill. It requires certain buildings to record annual whole-building energy and water consumption data in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. City-owned buildings began benchmarking in the first year under the ordinance in 2017. The city required privately-owned commercial and multifamily buildings 50,000 square feet to comply starting April 2018. Both city- and privately-owned buildings will be required to report their consumption information each year thereafter. 

Incentives

PACE financing is available for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in residential and commercial buildings.

Last Updated: August 2021

Incentives

Commercial and residential construction permit applications are eligible for partial refund of permit fees if the building receives a green building certification. Residential buildings must meet all requirements of the Green Home Designation Standard of the Florida Green Building Coalition to receive a $300.00 refund. Commercial buildings but meet all requirements of USGBC LEED standard to receive a $1,000 refund. The city has also partnered with Duke Energy who offers free home energy checks and rebates for residents.

St. Petersburg supports the Solar and Energy Loan (SELF) Program that offers loans to residents for energy efficiency measures and solar-PV. 

The city supports Solar United Neighbors (SUN) in providing solar co-ops to bring down the cost through bulk-purchasing power. 

Voluntary programs

The city launched the Building Energy Benchmarking Pilot in 2020.

Last Update: September 2021

Commercial and multifamily benchmarking

The State of California adopted Assembly Bill (AB) 802 in October of 2015. It requires commercial and multifamily buildings greater than 50,000 square feet and larger to benchmark energy usage annually. 

Incentives

Stockton implements one financing program to encourage energy effiency and renewable energy projects. The city allows property owners access to PACE financing for the purchase and installation of infrastructure improvements to their properties with no up-front costs for: renewable energy, energy and water efficiency improvements, water conservation upgrades, and/or electric vehicle charging. 

Last updated: June 2021

Incentives

Syracuse offers one financing program to encourage energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. The city allows property owners access to PACE finacing for energy efficiency and renewable energy investments. 

Last Update: July 2021

Incentives

Tampa offers expedited plan review for commercial construction that includes provisions for energy efficiency.  Rebates are available to residential and commercial construction achieving the LEED standards. Homes built to the Florida Green Building Coalition standards also receive a rebate.

Last Updated: July 2021

Incentives

Toledo offers PACE financing for commercial and residential energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. 

Last updated: July 2021

We could not find information on whether the city incentivizes energy-saving actions in existing buildings. Tucson is preempted by the state from adopting above-code energy efficiency requirements.

Last updated: July 2021

We could not find information on whether the city incentivizes or requires energy-saving actions in existing buildings.

Last updated: July 2021

Incentives

Residential and commercial buildings may earn tax breaks for achieving energy savings, as verified by a third-part inspection.

Last Updated: July 2021

Building performance standards

The Clean Energy DC Omnibus Act of 2018 requires the implementation of a building energy performance standard (BEPS) starting with privately-owned buildings 50,000 square feet and larger and District-owned or District instrumentality-owned buildings 10,000 square feet and larger in 2021. Privately-owned buildings 25,000 square feet and larger will be covered in 2023, and buildings 10,000 square feet and larger will be covered in 2026. Buildings will demonstrate that they exceed the local median ENERGY STAR score for their building type, or will be required to follow either a performance or prescriptive pathway to achieve compliance.

Commercial and multifamily benchmarking

The Clean and Affordable Energy Act requires commercial buildings and multifamily buildings over 50,000 square feet to benchmark and publicly disclose energy usage data using ENERGY STAR software. This policy was adopted July 2008, and implementation began in 2010. Disclosure must be done annually, and the District publishes data online. Non-compliance results in a fine. The Act currently covers 49% of commercial and multifamily buildings. The Clean Energy DC Omnibus Act of 2018 lowered the building benchmarking requirement size to 25,000 square feet by 2021 and 10,000 square feet by 2026.

Incentives

Commercial property owners may access property assessed clean energy (C-PACE) financing for energy efficiency improvements and onsite renewable energy generation.

The DC Green Bank has launched its Commercial Loan for Energy Efficiency and Renewables (CLEER) financing, for energy efficiency in non-profit and for-profit buildings. The DC Green Bank also launched a financial product called Navigator that is a pre-development loan that finances analysis and design of energy improvements for multifamily properties. Eligible costs include energy benchmarking, assessments, and audits as well as design, engineering, bidding work, and more.

The DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU) offers residential and commercial property owners rebates for energy efficient appliances.

Washington previously administered a low-income home weatherization program that invested $25 million in energy efficiency measures and renewable energy installation.

The Solar for All program seeks to provide 100,000 low-income households with solar energy through direct rooftop installation and community solar farms.

The DC Department of Energy and Environment offers financial assistance for projects seeking net-zero design. 

In addition to these existing programs, the Clean Energy DC Omnibus Act of 2018 carves out 30% of revenues for low-income energy actions.

Last Updated: June 2021

We we're unable to identify any policies targeting energy efficiency and renewable energy in existing buildings. 

Last updated: August 2021

We could not find information on whether the city incentivizes or requires energy-saving actions in existing buildings.

Last updated: June 2021

We could not find information on whether the city incentivizes or requires energy-saving actions in existing buildings.

Last updated: June 2021