Worldwide, commercial building energy rating and disclosure mandates are becoming more common as policymakers target the building sector in energy and climate protection policies. Although the United States has no policy equivalent to the European Union’s Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), rating and disclosure policies are beginning to appear in states and local jurisdictions.
This paper will explore the details of policies related to the rating and disclosure of building energy performance enacted in the United States. In the absence of a federal mandate, states and jurisdictions are experimenting with different approaches to building energy rating and how that information is conveyed to the market. The paper will discuss specific approaches and strategies that have the potential for integration into European policies.
Although U.S. rating and disclosure policy is less expansive than in Europe, research based on the voluntary rating and disclosure of U.S. buildings suggests the U.S. marketplace is already factoring energy efficiency into its real estate decision-making. This paper will discuss findings from leading academic institutions that conclude energy-efficient properties in the United States have greater occupancy levels and higher lease rates and sale prices than less efficient properties. These trends will likely accelerate as more buildings are rated and more ratings are disclosed, while also exerting pressure on less efficient buildings to engage in energy retrofits.