Simple logic says the larger your structure is, the more energy and water are required to maintain functionality. The question now becomes: should such structures be held to a different financial standard because of the additional resources they require?
The city of Philadelphia says yes, they should. A new law in “the City of Brotherly Love” requires all buildings 50,000 square feet and larger to benchmark their energy and water consumption annually. Considering how large some these buildings are, many would argue this task is ripe with potential challenges.
Thankfully, EMCOR Services Fluidics, www.fluidics.com, Philadelphia, Pa., is helping building owners to comply, as well as illuminating energy-saving opportunities.
“While the mandate to compile, organize, and submit necessary benchmarking data might appear overly burdensome and expensive, the process can be done at a modest cost and can potentially result in significant cost savings,” says Edward Quinn, chairman and CEO of EMCOR Services Fluidics. “Benchmarking can be an opportunity for owners to gain a better understanding of their building’s energy usage and identify energy efficiency measures that might be implemented at minimal cost.”
The service provided by Fluidics requires 12 months of utility bills, in addition to some general building information. A computer software program compiles the data and formats it to meet the city of Philadelphia’s benchmarking standards. If the building in question qualifies for Energy Star Certification, which is given to a building which meets strict energy performance standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency, an in-house team may perform the application and validation process.
The deadline for submitting energy and water use data for 2012 is Oct. 21, 2013. Buildings that miss this deadline are subject to a $300 fine for the first month the data is late, and $100 for each additional day afterward.
We’ve all heard that old saying: the bigger they are, the harder they fall. But this new law need not be the downfall of Philadelphia’s larger structures. In the end, the benchmarking requirement may leave companies with a few extra proverbial bucks in their pocket thanks to the energy they’ve saved.