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Introduction to Energy Benchmarking in Montgomery County


In May 2014, the Montgomery County Council passed Bill 2-14, Environmental Sustainability – Buildings – Benchmarking (PDF, 580KB), which requires the County and building owners to benchmark the energy use of their non-residential buildings 50,000 square feet and greater in the county.

The County will lead by example and benchmark its buildings first. The first deadline for private buildings is December 2016.

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is responsible for the implementation of this bill.




Commercial Energy Benchmarking Introductory Forum

Please join us for this FREE introduction to the new energy benchmarking legislation which requires owners of certain non-residential buildings in Montgomery County to benchmark and report energy usage.


Who Should Attend?

Building owners with properties 50,000 square feet or larger; sole tenants of these buildings; local government officials; energy efficiency service providers; nonprofits and associations that support the energy and/or building community; anyone interested in learning about the Montgomery County benchmarking law.


Thursday, November 6, 2014

  • 8:00am-8:30am Networking & Coffee
  • 8:30am-10:00am Presentation

Scott Fitzgerald Theater
603 Edmonston Dr, Rockville, MD 20851

Learn more and register here!

Download the informational flyer (PDF, 642KB)

Hosted by the Montgomery County Branch of the USGBC-NCR, Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection, Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Rockville


What is Building Energy Benchmarking?

Benchmarking is comparing one building’s energy use against a standard. The standard in this bill is set through ENERGY STAR’s Portfolio Manager. Learn more about benchmarking and how it drives action and energy savings.

Image of ENERGY STAR logo with buildings


What are the Benefits of Benchmarking?

Benefits of benchmarking (PDF, 419KB) include:

  • Improving understanding of energy consumption patterns and key drivers;

  • quantifying energy performance and comparing against average similar building stock;

  • identifying energy saving opportunities; and

  • managing business bottom line through consistent data collection and tracking.

The timeline made available by the bill allows DEP to develop a program that provides robust support to commercial building owners throughout the process and ensures that building owners reap the benefits of their energy benchmarking. DEP will be soliciting guidance from the Benchmarking Work Group regarding implementation, outreach, and legislative amendments.


Image of map of U.S. states, cities and counties that have building benchmarking and disclosure policies as of August 8, 2014.


Michelle Vigen
Senior Energy Planner
Department of Environmental Protection


About the Benchmarking Bill


Download the Benchmarking Bill: 2-14, Environmental Sustainability – Buildings – Benchmarking (PDF, 580KB)


Summary of Deadlines

  • The County must benchmark all buildings owned by the County for the previous calendar year (e.g. 2014) no later than June 1, 2015 and every June 1 thereafter.

  • Buildings 250,000 square feet or greater must be benchmarked by the building owner for the previous calendar year (e.g. 2015) no later than December 1, 2016 and every December 1 thereafter.

  • Buildings greater than 50,000 square feet and less than 250,000 square feet must be benchmarked by the building owner for the previous calendar year (e.g. 2016) no later than December 1, 2017 and every December 1 thereafter.

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Montgomery County is the first county in the nation to adopt a commercial building benchmarking law.

13 states and cities adopted laws before us!



Historical Record of the Bill

Including the initial proposal, and the marked amendments


Summary of Amendments

Please note the following differences between the adopted and the original bill:  

  • The provisions related to energy auditing and retro-commissioning were deleted.

  • The timeline for benchmarking was extended, with County buildings being the first subject to the law.  

  • A requirement was added to establish a Benchmarking Work Group to assess the results of the County’s benchmarking process and review the details of the law to determine if any changes should be made.



Benchmarking Work Group

Bill 2-14 requires the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to establish a Benchmarking Work Group.  This Work Group will review the benchmarking process as applied to county-owned facilities and also provide a report to the County Council and County Executive with recommendations on the benchmarking process as applied to privately-owned facilities, including any proposed amendments to the County law.  We encourage anyone interested to participate.  

Image of an ENERGY STAR logo etched on a glass window


Thanks to everyone who made it out to the first Work Group meeting on the 16th. We had representation from the building community, utilities, NGOs, and energy efficiency service providers. If you couldn't make it or want to review the information covered, please see the materials below:


September 16, 2014 Initial Work Group Meeting

At the end of the meeting, attendees had the opportunity to sign up for subcommittee(s). 

If you are interested in being part of a subcommittee, please email your interest to Michelle Vigen by next Wednesday, September 24th. 

We will email each subcommittee the week of the 29th to coordinate meeting times in October and will announce meeting times here and on this email list once confirmed.


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Michelle Vigen
Senior Energy Planner
Department of Environmental Protection