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Benchmarking

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.

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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.

 

What are the Benefits of Benchmarking?

  • 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.
Read more about the Benefits of benchmarking (PDF, 419KB).
 

Contact

Michelle Vigen
Senior Energy Planner
Department of Environmental Protection
240-777-7749

Image of ENERGY STAR logo with buildings

 

About the Benchmarking Bill

 

Resources to Get Started

 

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.

 

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!  Learn about them at buildingrating.org.

 

Historical Record of the Bill

Including the initial proposal, and the marked amendments

 

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

Meetings

September 16, 2014 Initial Work Group Meeting

 

Subcommittees

The Work Group has broken into three subcommittee to address specific areas of the roll-out and implementation areas. 

  • The Outreach/Education Subcommittee seeks to address the challenge of outreach to the smaller building owners, those with smaller portfolios or “one-off” single building owners that may also be remote.  
  • The Technical Assistance Subcommittee seeks to address technical support for building owners completing the benchmarking process. 
  • The Legislative and Implementation Subcommittee seeks to address, per the legislation, any recommendations related to the application of the law to private building owners, including areas to be covered by more detailed guidance (in the form of a document developed by staff) and areas requiring legislative amendment. 

 

When do the subcommittees meet?

The subcommittees met for the first time over October and November 2014. Subcommittee meetings are scheduled per the preference of each committee, but may meet as frequently as month or as infrequently as quarterly or less.  Meeting times/location are announced through the Work Group email (link to subscribe is below).

 

Who can attend?

Anyone interested is invited to join a subcommittee or attend meetings. Meetings are open to the public and are announced through the Work Group email (a public email list).  Agendas and notes are also posted through this email list.

If you are interested in being part of a subcommittee, please email your interest to Michelle Vigen

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Contact

Michelle Vigen
Senior Energy Planner
Department of Environmental Protection
240-777-7749