As of July 11, if you own a commercial property within the City of Rockville, you are now subject to Montgomery County energy benchmarking requirements. Below, we’ve broken down the new law step-by-step and identified resources to contact for further information.
1.Do I Have to Report?
If you own a non-residential building, which exceeds 50,000-SF and is located within the business limits of the City of Rockville, you are now required to report your building’s energy data for the year 2016 and every subsequent year. Included in this requirement are groups of buildings which share pacels (i.e. the same tax ID) that exceed 50,000-SF when combined. Not sure about your building? Click here to view the City’s impact properties map: City of Rockville Potential Covered Properties
2. Why Was This Passed?
The ordinance, passed by the Rockville City Council back in July, aligns energy benchmarking practices between the City of Rockville and Montgomery County. Prior to adoption of this law, City of Rockville property owners were encouraged, but not required, to report such energy benchmarking data. Surrounding areas, such as Bethesda, Silver Spring and Gaithersburg, are already subject to these stringent reporting laws, with civil penalties for failure to submit data.
3. What is Energy Benchmarking and Why Is It Important?
Energy benchmarking practices raise awareness and knowledge among building owners, brokers and tenants to better understand a building’s energy performance and serve as a catalyst to implement energy efficiency upgrades which could lower operating costs. The Washington DC Metropolitan Area, including Montgomery County and Northern Virginia, features a commercial building portfolio of over 400 million RSF (Rentable Square Feet). Adopting these important energy benchmarking procedures, which have become industry-standard throughout the District and Virginia, will ensure that the City of Rockville remains competitive in attracting new businesses and sophisticated tenants to the area. Collecting and reporting this data also helps owners manage their operating costs, ensure competitive leasing rates, advertise exceptional building performance and identify available financing options for energy improvement upgrades.
4. How Do I Ensure Compliance & Report My Data?
The law requires that first year data be reviewed and verified by an independent 3rd Party Reviewer, with follow-up verification required every three years after the initial filing. GHT employs more than 20 certified reviewers, who are approved by the City of Rockville and Montgomery County to verify your application. Get in touch with GHT today to find out more and schedule an inspection at your property.
To maintain consistency with the Montgomery County process and other local jurisdictions, we encourage owners to utilize the ENERGY STAR portfolio manager to track usage. This free and easy-to-use software factors in characteristics such as the building’s age, water consumption and occupancy rates to determine a score between 1-100; for example, a score of 75 would indicate a building is performing within the top 25% of similar U.S. building types, in comparable settings.
5. I’m Ready to File…Where Do I Start?
Navigating the resporting process for your building’s data can be intimidating. We encourage our clients to take advantage of the many resources Montgomery County has made available to building owners. To get started, click on the link below:
Montgomery County 2016 Guide to Energy Benchmarking
GHT’s Operations & Energy Services division is also here to answer questions, help you become familiar with the ENERGY STAR portfolio manager and explore financing options through Montgomery County. Schedule an appointment with us today and don’t go it alone!
As Section Head of Building Energy Services in GHT’s Operations & Energy Services (OES) studio, Jeffrey Salay, PE, CEM, LEED AP leads the firm’s efforts to provide ENERGY STAR benchmarking services, conduct ASHRAE energy audits and other energy studies, and design energy efficiency upgrades.