Sharing Transparency for a More Efficient Future


Policy Description:

On May 8, 2009, Washington Governor Chris Gregoire signed into law SB 5854, also known as the Efficiency First bill. Focusing on energy efficiency in the built environment, the bill requires commercial building energy rating and disclosure, major improvements to the state energy code, and energy performance standards and retrofits (if necessary) for public buildings. The bill also requires the state to recommend a methodology to rate the energy performance of homes. The benchmarking provisions are based on proposals from the Washington Climate Action Team, which convened in 2008 to develop recommendations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Washington. The statewide program is augmented by an annual benchmarking policy for commercial buildings in Seattle. SB 5854, modeled after AB 1103 in California, requires owners of nonresidential buildings larger than 10,000 SF to rate their buildings using ENERGY STAR software and disclose that information to prospective buyers, lessees and lenders prior to the closing of a transaction. Utilities are required beginning Jan. 1, 2010, at the request of a building owner, to automatically upload energy consumption information for a building into ENERGY STAR software. For public buildings, the requirements are more stringent. A preliminary energy audit is required for buildings with an ENERGY STAR rating less than 50. If that audit identifies cost effective energy savings, an investment grade audit is required by July 1, 2013 and cost-effective measures must be implemented by 2016. Additionally, state agencies may not sign a new lease or a lease renewal in a privately owned building with a Portfolio Manager rating of less than 75, unless certain energy efficiency measures are utilized. The provision is modeled after a federal requirement on the U.S. General Services Administration enacted under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

Enacted Date:
Authority in Charge:
Department of Community, Trade, and Economic Development
Tool Name:
ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager
Building Types Affected Size Compliance Deadline
Public/Government Greater Than 10,000 Sq. Feet 2010-07-01
Non-Residential Greater Than or Equal To 50,000 Sq. Feet 2011-01-01
Non-Residential Greater Than or Equal To 10,000 Sq. Feet 2012-01-01
Number of Buildings Affected:
Floor Area Affected:
247,000,000 Sq. Feet
Required Transparency:
Buyers, Lessees, Lenders
Transparency Trigger:
Point of Transaction
Transparency Trigger Events:
Purchase/sell (required), Rent (required)
State agencies must disclose benchmarking data for public buildings by July 1, 2010 to the state General Administration (GA), which will make the information public.
Required Reporting:

Utility Requirements/Support:

Utility Requirements/Support:




Compliance Enforcement:
Additional Program Information:
Water Use Tracking: