News Article
October 29, 2012

Lessons Learned from Early Implementation of Rating and Disclosure Laws in U.S. Cities

Most building owners and occupants do not have any knowledge about the energy performance of their buildings.  This information gap prevents property and financial markets from valuing energy-efficient homes and buildings.


Internationally, new government policies are starting to require the disclosure of energy performance.  Generally, these policies obligate owners to benchmark their buildings based on a local or regional rating system.  Benchmarking allows direct comparisons by accounting for variables such as local climate, occupancy levels, and operating hours. In some jurisdictions, periodic energy audits of buildings are required as well. Programs like the US ENERGY STAR use energy consumption data to compare a building’s performance to the average for similar buildings. 


Rating and disclosure policies allow the market to access and value the energy performance of a building.   Performance disclosure can help transform the commercial real estate sector by enabling the market to recognize and reward energy efficiency.


More than 50 cities, states, and countries worldwide have created rating and disclosure policies. This includes every EU member state, China, Australia, and jurisdictions across the United States.  Check out a global map of these policies here.  In the U.S. six cities and two states have passed policies requiring the rating & disclosure of energy use in existing buildings - California and Washington and in the cities of New York, Seattle, San Francisco, Austin, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.  These policies will soon affect roughly 4 billion square feet of floor space in major real estate markets—making them powerful catalysts for energy efficiency in the built environment.  


In the U.S., implementation of these policies has begun in New York, Seattle and San Francisco.  In the video shown here, Caroline Keicher, program manager of Building Energy Performance Policy with the Institute for Market Transformation, reveals lessons learned from New York City’s rating and disclosure policy. New York achieved 75 percent compliance in the first year, due to extensive partnerships, publicity and outreach.


Interview with Caroline Keicher

Caroline Keicher

Program Manager of Building Energy Performance Policy

Institute for Market Transformation

October 2012

Related  Articles:

MPG for Buildings: Energy Disclosure as a Tool for Market Transformation >>

Building Energy Ratings: Driving the Market Toward Efficiency >> A Global Resource for Ranking Energy Performance >>



 Lessons Learned from the Implementation of Rating and Disclosure Policies in U.S. Cities, Institute for Market Transformation, 2012.