The City of New Orleans today announced that it has benchmarked the energy performance of its 92 municipal buildings. In collecting three years of utility data for these buildings, the City created a baseline of existing energy use that will now allow it to identify the most beneficial energy efficiency upgrades across its portfolio.
The benchmarking of building energy use continues to grow across the country. With today’s announcement, New Orleans joins the City of Denver, along with many states including Alabama, Connecticut, Hawaii, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Utah in benchmarking public buildings. To date, 10 major U.S. cities—Austin, Boston, Cambridge, Chicago, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, New York City, Seattle, San Francisco, and Washington, DC—two states, and one county have enacting benchmarking laws that aim to cut building energy waste, lower utility bills, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions
IMT congratulates Mayor Mitch Landrieu and the City of New Orleans on its benchmarking efforts. “Collecting benchmarking data is key step toward making cities more efficient, prosperous, resilient, and healthy by reducing energy use and carbon emissions from their largest source—buildings,” said Cliff Majersik, Executive Director of the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT). “The process of benchmarking can kick off a continuous cycle of improvement with widespread benefits. Building owners that benchmark are more likely to make energy efficiency improvements than those owners who don’t benchmark, and when this data is publicly disclosed it creates an awareness of savings opportunities that drives the continuous improvement in the efficiency of a city’s building stock. We applaud the City of New Orleans and its partners, local developer Green Coast Enterprises and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), for leading the charge in New Orleans by benchmarking municipal buildings.”
New Orleans’ benchmarking efforts received support and guidance from NRDC, with whom IMT is a partner in the City Energy Project, a national initiative to improve the energy efficiency of buildings in 10 major American cities. The 10 participating cities are Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Orlando, Philadelphia, and Salt Lake City.
“Better buildings can help New Orleans embrace resiliency, making the city stronger and more sustainable into the future,” said City Energy Project Executive Director Melissa Wright. “Boosting energy efficiency in the city's buildings can reduce the pollution that is turbocharging our weather, keep the lights on with less electricity, and lower energy bills all at the same time. By bringing these benefits to city-owned buildings, Mayor Landrieu's administraiton is paving the way for others in New Orleans and around the country to follow.”
The New Orleans announcement comes as the city is hosting thousands of green building and energy efficiency professionals for the 2014 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo. IMT will be presenting several sessions the City Energy Project, as well as the processes and benefits of building energy data collection and transparency during Greenbuild. For more information on these sessions, click here.