Your email:




Current Articles | RSS Feed RSS Feed

Energy Benchmarking in the City of Philadelphia


Bill No. 120428-A, An Ordinance

Philadelphia’s new energy and water benchmarking requires reporting for all commercial buildings over 50,000 sq. ft.

Energy Benchmarking in PhiladelphiaWho is affected?
Owners of non-residential buildings of more than 50,000 square feet will be required to measure energy and water consumption and submit results to City of Philadelphia.

When does this take affect?
Reporting must be completed by October 2013 for building energy & water use in CY2012.

Why is the City doing this?
The intent is to create more energy efficient buildings through greater transparency. Transparency leads to marketplace competition, driving down energy and water costs for stakeholders and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  The program is modeled after laws in other major U.S. cities including New York, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco.

What is the expected outcome?
Results will be publicly posted starting June 1, 2014.  Property owners, occupants, tenants and consumers will find out how buildings compare to other buildings using a national standard ranking system.  The market will adopt best practices and drive energy savings in the commercial buildings sector.  Noncompliance could result in fines of $300 for the first 30 days of non-reporting and $100 per day after that.

What is the process?
As in other cities, the City of Philadelphia requires Owners to use US EPA Portfolio Manager a nationally recognized web-based tool, part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR ® Program


What is EPA Portfolio Manager?
Portfolio Manager is a free online interactive energy management tool that allows you to track and assess energy and water consumption for one or many buildings.  Portfolio Manager is a database, a process to perform benchmarking, a building rating system (0 to 100 score), and a nationally recognized standard.  Portfolio Manager is a powerful tool that accesses local weather data and historical building energy reference data from US Energy Information Administration (EIA). It provides a personalized central database for where you can track and evaluate 1 or 1000+ buildings.

About Portfolio Manager

There are a number of inputs required to perform benchmarking with Portfolio Manager.   The information includes:

  • All monthly utility bills (gas, electric, steam, fossil fuels, and water) for at least one year
  • Building square footage by use type
  • Number of occupants
  • Number of computers
  • Hours of operation
  • Other information depending on the building type, for example: Hospitals need to input number of staffed beds, number of MRI machines, etc.; and hotels need to input number of rooms, number of commercial refrigeration/freezer units, etc.

There are 15 different types of buildings that can earn an Energy Star rating but all commercial buildings can use Portfolio Manager to track and assess energy and water consumption and receive a benchmarking report.
Depending on the ease of access to the data noted above, using Portfolio Manager can range from easy to challenging:

  • Buildings with tenants that maintain their own metering and billing may find it more challenging to collect and submit utility information.
  • The square footage of different uses within a building have to be entered (i.e. retail, office, and parking).

SourceOne Can Help!

Energy StarAs an ENERGY STAR Partner, SourceOne can help you reduce your energy consumption, save money and remain in compliance.  SourceOne’s voluntary partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR offers a unique opportunity to help our clients improve the energy efficiency and performance of their facilities. 

SourceOne has an office in Philadelphia and serves a broad client base, including biotech companies, data centers, municipal agencies, hospitals, universities, and real estate investment trusts (REIT).

SourceOne has many automated toolsets for obtaining and uploading utility data. Through the process we will identify no-cost/low-cost ways to reduce energy use.  SourceOne can help you by:

  • Inputting all required information to Portfolio Manager and generating required reports.
  • Providing training, guidance and standards to help you through the process.
  • Analyzing and interpreting the benchmarking results.
  • Helping you develop an energy strategy and prepare a tactical energy and water savings plan to prioritize next actions in accordance with your needs and goals.
  • Conducting energy audits to determine where cost effective investments can be made to improve energy performance and earn higher ENERGY STAR scores.

As a nationally recognized energy management firm, SourceOne supports an organization-wide energy management approach to help our clients reach their operational and financial goals, enhancing sustainability and preserving the environment.

Learn more about this ordinance below:

"Philadelphia Gets Green Boost with New Energy Benchmarking Bill,", July 18, 2012.

"Philly catches up with NYC, D.C. on energy efficiency benchmarking," Philadelphia Citypaper, The Naked City Blog,  May 17, 2012.

Utility Benchmarking in Philadelphia, Delaware Valley Green Building Council (DVGBC)