The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) congratulates the leadership of Montgomery County, Maryland, to make commercial and municipal building energy use transparent by introducing a benchmarking and disclosure bill. Montgomery County Councilmember Roger Berliner introduced the legislation, along with a majority of his colleagues, which would require large buildings in the county to benchmark their energy use and disclose their ENERGY STAR® score, a 1-100 percentile ranking of a building's energy performance as rated against similar building types.
NEMA Policy Director for High-Performance Buildings
Patrick Hughes testified in support of the bill at a council hearing on February 11. In his testimony, he cited the successes that other jurisdictions have had when implementing their own benchmarking and disclosure laws.
"Similar benchmarking and disclosure ordinances in New York City and San Francisco resulted in a 30% boost in business for local energy service companies," Hughes said. "By encouraging energy efficiency, this bill is helping to bolster Montgomery County's economy and the economy of the State of Maryland."
A study conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency showed that, on average, buildings that benchmark their energy usage reduce their energy consumption by 7 percent over three years. Additional studies have shown that having an ENERGY STAR-certified building increases resale value by 8-25 percent, increases rent by 2-14 percent, and increases occupancy rates by 3-11 percent.
NEMA supports benchmarking and disclosure of energy use in buildings across the country, and is working to ensure that building owners and renters have the information they need to make informed decisions about how they use energy.
NEMA is the association of electrical equipment and medical imaging manufacturers, founded in 1926 and headquartered in Rosslyn, Virginia. Its 400-plus member companies manufacture a diverse set of products including power transmission and distribution equipment, lighting systems, factory automation and control systems, and medical diagnostic imaging systems. Total U.S. shipments for electroindustry products exceed $100 billion annually.
Phallan K. Davis