The Municipal Energy Office ensures that City buildings are on track to meet climate and energy standards and goals.
Building Energy Performance Program
More than 70% of greenhouse gas emissions in Philadelphia come from buildings. The Building Energy Performance Program (BEPP) reduces emissions by requiring owners of large, nonresidential buildings to regularly review their properties for opportunities to improve energy and water use efficiency. Then, building owners make repairs and adjustments.
To comply, building owners can:
- Perform a tune-up.
- Prove high performance.
- Receive an exemption.
The average building tune-up reduces annual energy use by an estimated 10–15%. This adds up to a significant decrease in greenhouse gas emissions across the city.
The Municipal Energy Office helps over 35 municipal buildings comply with this program.
The program began in 2021, and it’s projected to reduce carbon emissions in Philadelphia by 200,000 metric tons.
Energy efficiency and environmental design standards
As of July 2023, all newly built or renovated municipal buildings must earn a LEED Gold certification. The LEED rating system is a widely recognized building certification program. To earn certification, buildings earn points across categories like energy efficiency and air quality.
By setting high standards for municipal buildings, we can lower energy use and carbon emissions from our built environment, and meet our sustainability goals outlined in the Municipal Energy Master Plan.
The Municipal High Performance Building Guidelines summarize energy efficiency and environmental design standards for municipal buildings. They offer best practices for achieving high-performance, LEED-certified, and healthy buildings.
Several City buildings have achieved a LEED Gold certification. Learn about these and other high-performance municipal buildings.
Facility benchmarking and commitments
Philadelphia’s Energy Benchmarking and Disclosure Law requires energy benchmarking for buildings 50,000 square feet and up. We use the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager to assess the energy consumption of City-owned buildings and measure their energy performance against similar buildings nationwide. Eligible buildings earn from 1–100 points, showing us which buildings need the most improvement.
In support of the Municipal Energy Master Plan, we’ve committed to benchmark and reduce energy use in City-owned and operated facilities through two more programs:
- The U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge: 20% reduction in energy use intensity (energy use per square foot) by 2023.
- The Philadelphia 2030 District: 50% reduction in energy and water usage and transportation emissions by the year 2030.
We currently benchmark over 50 City buildings. We report on these buildings through the City’s benchmarking website.
In 2017, the One Parkway Building became the first municipal building to earn an ENERGY STAR certification.