Energy Benchmarking

On November 7th, 2016 the City of Portland adopted an energy benchmarking ordinance which requires covered properties to annually report water and energy usage. You can view and download the ordinance here.

On November 19, 2018 the City Council voted to extend the reporting deadline to allow stakeholders more time to work with the utilities to streamline access to energy consumption data.  The reporting deadline for all City buildings has been updated to May 1, 2019.   All other covered properties must be compliant one year after the Sustainability Office certifies that the energy data is available from utilities in a convenient electronic format. The Sustainability Office will alert affected property owners when this certification is made. For more information contact Troy Moon, Sustainability Coordinator at thm@portlandmaine.gov.

Is my property covered?
When the ordinance becomes effective, the Sustainability Office will notify all affected property owners by mail and will announce the new reporting deadline on the City webpage.
Properties covered under the ordinance include:

  • Municipal Buildings
  • Non-Residential single or grouped buildings over 20,000 sq. ft.
  • Residential Buildings that singly or together contain 50+ dwelling units
Covered Properties Building Information

Why did the City Council pass the ordinance?
You can’t manage what you don’t measure! The invisible nature of energy use and emissions make it difficult to further sustainability goals. In order to track progress, a baseline needs to first be established. This baseline will be used to measure the reduction of energy use as the City works toward its goal to reduce CO2 emissions 80% by 2050. In addition to saving financial and natural resources, a number of studies have tied higher energy efficiency scores to higher property values and higher occupancy rates. By simply making information publicly available, market forces begin to take action, enabling property owners, potential buyers, tenants, realtors, and others to make decisions based on the value of energy performance. Benchmark information will also inform City initiatives, educational outreach, and may potentially create opportunities for peer learning. 

How do I comply?
Buildings covered under the ordinance are required to report basic property information such as address and gross floor area, as well as yearly energy and water usage metrics through the EPA’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager Tool. Other descriptive information required will depend on property use type. For example, a supermarket will have to report different information than an office building. Once information is reported, buildings will be able to track energy use over time and will be provided with an energy score comparing their energy use to those of similar buildings. Helpful guides and tutorials are also available on the Energy Star Portfolio Manager website. A quick start guide can be found here and their training resources can be found here

While municipal buildings are continually being updated, the deadline for other covered properties will be one year after the Sustainability Office has certified that the energy data has been made available by the utilities. An updated timeline will be provided once the energy usage data is available for all covered properties.

Compliance Guide

1. Set up an ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager account for the covered property.

All covered property owners are required to report energy and water use data through the free EPA ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. To help you through this process, follow the How-to-Guide and walk step-by-step through the process of setting up an account for your property and adding utility meters.

2. Gather all energy and water use data for the covered property.

a) Electricity - Collect monthly electricity usage from your Central Maine Power account.

b) Heat - For the appropriate heat source on your property, gather usage from each billing period from the supplier.

c) Water - The Portland Water District provides monthly water use and billing information through MyOnlineBilling. Property owners can create an account and download water data by following a 4-step prompt. To get started, be sure to have your account number present.

3. Enter your monthly energy and water use data into Portfolio Manager.

There are three ways to enter your data into Portfolio Manager. One approach is to manually input data for energy and water meters on the property. Alternatively, property owners can upload data using a spreadsheet template. Or, an energy management consultant with your account authorization can compile and upload data into Portfolio Manager.

4. Share your report with the City 

A how-to guide with more details on how to share your report with the City will be provided.

Want to improve your ENERGY STAR score?

Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Works to advance energy efficient solutions through stakeholder engagement, information exchange, and resource development. 
Efficiency MaineProvides a variety of programs and incentives to help you upgrade the efficiency of your home or business. Information on lighting, heating, appliances, water heating, heat pumps, and weatherization available. 
EPAProvides information on a range of energy efficient appliances, financing options, and steps that existing buildings can take to reduce their energy costs.

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