Energy and water use in buildings accounts for approximately three-fourths of Orlando’s emissions of the gases and air pollution that contribute to public health impacts and climate change.
In 2013, the Green Works Orlando Taskforce, comprised of a broad representation of leaders within the business, NGO, public, and academic communities recommended that the City of Orlando adopt a building energy benchmarking and energy auditing ordinance as a component of a more comprehensive set of actions to reduce the energy and water use in buildings throughout Orlando. These recommendations were accepted by City Council after approving the 2013 Green Works Community Action Plan.
In addition, in 2014 the City of Orlando was selected as one of only ten cities in the United States to participate in the City Energy Project (CEP), a national initiative to create healthier and more prosperous American cities by improving the energy efficiency of buildings through innovative and practical solutions that cut energy waste, boost local economies, and reduce harmful pollution.
Sharing information about energy and water use in buildings will lead to better management of natural resources, and assist building owners in making cost-effective efficiency investments, thereby not only reducing air pollutant emissions from the burning of fossil fuels, but also reducing operating cost, improving indoor comfort, and providing resiliency against drought.
This BEWES policy will make relevant and comparable information on building energy and water usage readily available within the real estate marketplace (e.g. businesses, tenants, residents, lenders, etc.). The policy will require building benchmarking and reporting of energy and water usage in certain large buildings above 50,000 square feet, with minimum or no cost to the building owner. The policy will also require energy audits for certain lower performing buildings (those under the national average), but buildings will not be forced to improve performance, or make investments to make their buildings more energy efficient. Today, this policy has been successfully implemented in more than 15 major cities and counties across the United States, including the City of New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, Atlanta, Kansas City, and more.
Through a more informed real estate marketplace, we will work together to reach the goals set out by the Green Works Orlando initiative to reduce city-wide energy use intensity; lower the emission from air pollutants from energy consumption; encourage efficient use of energy and water resources throughout the built environment; and promote further investments in building a green economy in Orlando.