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Rating and Disclosing the Energy Efficiencies of Maryland’s Buildings
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2011

Buildings, both residential and commercial, consume a significant proportion of energy generated from fossil fuels. Conservation awareness and green building technology has had a positive effect on the energy efficiency of new buildings, but most of our existing buildings continue to use energy wastefully. We support SB 713 and HB 985, which would require evaluation and disclosure of commercial building energy use through EPA’s free on-line tool, Energy Star Profile Manager.

Rating and Disclosing the Energy Efficiencies of Maryland’s Buildings

 

Buildings, both residential and commercial, consume a significant proportion of energy generated from fossil fuels. Conservation awareness and green building technology has had a positive effect on the energy efficiency of new buildings, but most of our existing buildings continue to use energy wastefully.  We support SB 713 and HB 985, which would require evaluation and disclosure of commercial building energy use through EPA’s free on-line tool, Energy Star Profile Manager. The ratings would help potential purchasers or tenants factor energy costs into their financial calculations and relocation decisions. It would likely spur efficiency upgrades, such as improved heating, air conditioning, lighting, insulation, and air sealing in the least efficient buildings, and bring down energy costs and the attendant pollution that energy consumption creates.

 

In the United States, the energy consumption of residential and commercial buildings comprises 39%, more than any other sector. Two-thirds of electricity consumed here each year is used in buildings. In Maryland, electricity consumption is the number one source of greenhouse gas emissions.

 

Non-residential buildings, including offices, retail stores, government facilities, schools and hospitals, are a major part of this equation. Maryland has more than 475 million square feet of existing, privately owned office and retail space, a number that grows even larger when accounting for other types of nonresidential space.

 

Building owners cannot manage what they have not measured. Rating the energy efficiency of non-residential buildings in Maryland will:

·         Educate building owners on their own energy consumption relative to other buildings

·         Encourage energy efficiency measures and greenhouse gas emissions reductions in the existing buildings sector

·         Help inform future actions to reduce building energy consumption, as called for under the EmPOWER Maryland initiative and the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act of 2009

 

Disclosing energy efficiency ratings to the market will:

·         Transform the market for existing buildings by allowing real estate investors, tenants and lenders to fully value energy-efficient properties

·         Reward owners of efficient properties with higher operating incomes, rent premiums and above-market occupancy rates

·         Create a virtuous cycle of competition between building owners based on energy efficiency, reducing the energy consumption and resulting energy costs of the overall  building stock

Put market-based pressure on owners of inefficient properties to increase building efficiency

> 2011 Table of Contents

   
   

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