The new ordinance will enable the city to monitor water usage of commercial buildings
On Dec. 20, the city council of San José, Calif., voted to adopt an energy and water building performance ordinance that will enable the city to collect and share data on the energy and water usage of large commercial and multifamily buildings, drive energy- and water-efficiency upgrades by building owners, and craft smarter sustainability policies.
The ordinance is a first policy step in the development of Climate Smart San José, the city’s climate action plan, and will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from existing buildings, which represent the second-largest source of emissions in San José after transportation.
The ordinance was developed with guidance and support from the City Energy Project, a joint initiative of the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Institute for Market Transformation.
“Our new energy and water building performance ordinance will reduce life-cycle costs for both building owners and tenants, help curb our city’s building emissions, and move the needle on achieving critical goals outlined in our Climate Smart plan,” said San José Mayor Sam Liccardo. “I’m grateful to city staff for their work to craft this ordinance and to the Institute for Market Transformation and the Natural Resources Defense Council for their continued partnership.”
The legislation will require owners of existing commercial and multifamily buildings over 20,000 square feet in size to benchmark their buildings’ energy and water use through a free U.S. EPA online tool called the Energy Star Portfolio Manager. A subset of that data will be published online to better educate building owners and prospective tenants as well as increase the demand for energy efficiency across the market.