PHILADELPHIA – Today, Philadelphia City Council passed Bill #190600 creating a new Building Energy Performance Program. This is a key step toward meeting Mayor Kenney’s commitment to cutting carbon pollution 25 percent by 2025 in line with the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.
Once implemented, it will cut carbon pollution in the city of Philadelphia by nearly 200,000 metric tons. This is the climate pollution equivalent of taking 40,000 automobiles off our roads.
“In the absence of any efforts by the federal government to stop the causes of global climate change, I’m proud Philadelphia is joining cities around the country and the world in taking on this challenge,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “Ensuring Philadelphia’s buildings are operating efficiently is a no-brainer: it saves money, creates jobs, and cuts the wasted energy causing pollution.”
The Building Energy Performance Policy mandates all non-residential buildings 50,000 square feet and larger to either submit a certification of high energy performance to the City’s Office of Sustainability or conduct a tune-up to bring existing building energy systems up to a state of good repair.
“Just like cars, buildings require occasional tune-ups to ensure they’re performing at their peak,” said Christine Knapp, Director of the City’s Office of Sustainability. “Tune-ups are small tweaks to existing systems and controls that will lead to cost savings for building owners and increased comfort for tenants.”
To quantify potential cost savings, the City recently conducted a pilot tune-up on the Juvenile Justice Center in West Philadelphia and found that an initial $12,000 investment will result in $24,000 in annual energy savings. Citywide, the Building Energy Performance Program will result in millions of dollars in cost savings for building operators and tenants and lead to an estimated 600 new careers in the clean economy.
A requirement for large buildings to tune-up existing systems was a key recommendation from Powering Our Future: A Clean Energy Vision for Philadelphia, a report published by the Office of Sustainability last year to help set goals toward meeting Mayor Kenney’s long-term commitment to cut carbon pollution 80 percent by 2050.
After this legislation is signed by the Mayor, the Office of Sustainability will work with building owners and operators to implement this legislation in early 2020. To learn more about this process and get involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org.