Increasing a home’s energy rating score isn't merely about helping the environment or committing yourself to a "greener" way of living. The Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index is the industry standard by which a home's energy efficiency is measured. It’s also the nationally recognized system for inspecting and calculating a home's energy performance.The HERS is actually a system that determines how energy efficient the home is and how much potential there is for the occupant to save money.
We recently sat down to talk with Bronwyn Shirley, the Assistant Director of Australia's Commercial Building Disclosure Program. Shirley works at the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency implementing this exemplary policy.
DL: What is the goal of the CBD regulation?
2013 looks like it will be a banner year for building energy benchmarking and disclosure policies. With Philadelphia’s policy adoption closing out 2012 on a high note, Minneapolis got us started strong in January of 2013—becoming the seventh U.S. city, and the first in the Midwest, to pass a policy requiring transparency of energy performance in large commercial buildings.
The multifamily sector in the U.S.
In his State of Union address this week, President Obama mentioned that Americans need not a bigger government but a "smarter government." Washington, DC’s city government started a movement towards smarter operations back in 2009 – by measuring and publicly reporting the energy use of all its buildings. That includes the government's own buildings.
Australia’s Commercial Building Disclosure (CBD) program has now been fully implemented for over a year, and about 66 percent of Australian office space has an energy rating. Under the program, sellers or lessors of office space greater than 2,000 square meters (approximately 22,000 square feet) are required to disclose a Building Energy Efficiency Certificate (BEEC) if the space is being sold, l
National programs for benchmarking buildings’ energy use can be found in the U.S., Europe, China, and Australia. But new players on the international stage, with growing economies and influence, are joining the ranks. Energy performance benchmarking is on the rise in Brazil and South Africa, too.
Last month, New York City became the first jurisdiction in the U.S. to publicly post energy efficiency information for its building stock. The data—a maze of mind-numbing Excel tables—is hard to sort through. But it’s a critical first step to opening up energy transparency in the real estate market. As we’ve noted, benchmarking and disclosing energy efficiency info is a rapidly growing trend among U.S. cities.
On July 20, the District of Columbia took an important step towards fully implementing DC’s groundbreaking energy benchmarking law by publishing a new proposed rulemaking in the DC Register, along with supporting guidance documents published online. DDOE has made numerous substantive changes since the last proposed rulemaking last October. You can download all these documents, including an extensive FAQ, on the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) website.
June has been a busy month for rating and disclosure: two major cities have made significant commitments to new policies. In Boston, Mayor Thomas M. Menino announced development of a rating and disclosure policy during a public address on June 4th. A rating and disclosure bill in Philadelphia, proposed by Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds-Brown in May, passed with a unanimous 17-0 City Council vote on June 21st.
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