Certain cities across the United States are cracking down on energy use to cut down on waste and combat global warming. The City of Columbus is one of these cities, with a bold pledge to become carbon neutral by 2050. As buildings represent 58% of emissions in Columbus, the city has implemented an Energy & Water Benchmarking and Transparency Ordinance.
What Is the Energy Benchmarking Ordinance?
The Columbus Energy & Water Benchmarking and Transparency Ordinance came into effect on March 16, 2020. It requires buildings of a certain size to measure and record gas, electricity, and water use. Benchmarking is a simple way to keep track of a building’s energy use and compare it to similar buildings. Not only does this let you see total energy usage, but it also helps find areas of improvement to better conserve energy and reduce waste.
The two-phase plan assists building owners and property managers with starting the process. Additionally, it creates more transparency around the energy use of commercial buildings and allows for pathways to improvement. Complying with this mandate will help the city reach its carbon neutrality goal by 2050.
For the first year, Phase One of the energy benchmarking ordinance only applied to buildings larger than 100,000 square feet. However, in 2022, the threshold will decrease to buildings over 50,000 square feet. Phase One requires buildings to complete the following:
- Create an ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager account
- Acquire a Columbus Building ID for every building
- Connect Building IDs with ENERGY STAR account
After building owners or managers create an ENERGY STAR account and obtain Building IDs, they then need to obtain utility records for the previous calendar year and submit the full report to the City of Columbus. Additional steps for Phase Two will come at a later date.
If you have any questions about the energy benchmarking ordinance, you can get help through the City of Columbus. The Benchmarking Help Desk is open to any building owners or property managers who need assistance with compliance or technical support.
Reduce Your Building’s Consumption with Window Film
Whether you already have complied with the new energy benchmarking ordinance or will have to in the future, there’s an easy way you can save your building energy. As windows are one of the major causes of energy loss and high utility bills, applying window film can greatly increase energy efficiency, reduce waste, and save money. Solar Tint offers 3M Window Film for large commercial buildings that will show positive returns in as little as three years.
Case Study: Ohio Department of Transportation
Solar Tint worked with a building manager at the Ohio Department of Transportation to reduce their carbon footprint. 3M™ Low E35 Window Film was installed, leading to yearly energy savings of $37,254. The payback period was just over three years, with the building now generating a positive return on investment.
Potential Energy Savings with Window Film
- Annual savings of as much as 19 kWh/sq of glass
- Buildings can become carbon negative in as little as six months
- Up to 16 degree temperature reduction by decreasing direct sunlight
- Reduced energy consumption for lower utility bills
- Positive return on investment after three years or less
Window film will not only help Columbus reach its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050, but it will also help buildings reduce costs and become more sustainable overall.
As the largest 3M dealer in the Midwest with over 40 years of experience, there’s no project we can’t tackle. In fact, we’ve installed over 500,000 square feet of window film in the last year. Connect with us and receive your free quote and energy savings estimate.