Two exciting new developments are underway that will dramatically improve and expand energy benchmarking in the New York City buildings sector. The first is new legislation set to go into effect in 2018 that will now require mid-sized (25K-50K ft2), privately owned buildings to annually benchmark their energy and water use; the new legislation also mandates that these mid-size buildings undertake mandatory lighting upgrades and submetering of commercial tenant spaces by 2025. 

By extending the mandate, legislators hope to expand the positive impacts of benchmarking to New York’s substantial mid-size buildings market. A recent study found that participating in mandated benchmarking prompted three-quarters of facility managers to undertake operational improvements and equipment investments — and these upgrades are already seeing an impressive effect. From 2010 to 2013, New York’s benchmarked buildings used 6 percent less energy and reduced carbon emissions by 8 percent. 
 
Facility managers of mid-size buildings who will be new to the benchmarking process should reach out to the NYC Benchmarking Help Center, a joint initiative of BPL and the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability (MOS), that has offered free support since the initial mandate was put into effect in 2011.

The second new development is the planned rollout of automatic energy data uploading from NYC’s utility providers. With automatic uploading, energy consumption data that is required for the benchmarking report will be automatically uploaded to a user’s Portfolio Manager account, no longer requiring owners to collect the data or fill it in manually. Con Edison and National Grid will provide relevant data to qualifying buildings free of charge. New York City joins states like California that have already adopted this more efficient method, and facility managers can look forward to a less time-consuming benchmarking process that still reaps energy-saving rewards.

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