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Industry Outlook: Energy Reporting and Benchmarking

The City of Toronto is following the lead of several large North American cities and looking to implement Energy Reporting and Benchmarking (ERB) on commercial and multi-residential buildings. Although details have yet to be finalized, it is expected that:

  • It will start with commercial and multi-residential buildings over 250,000 ft², and eventually make it down to buildings over 50,000 ft².
  • ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager will be the basis of the benchmarking portion of ERB.
  • Year 2 of the program will require each building to have a Conservation and Demand Management (CDM) plan, which includes an ASHRAE Level 2 audit.

The Province of Ontario has been working closely with the City of Toronto, and it now appears that the ERB requirements will be province wide, not just within Toronto. Toronto City Council is expected to differ the initiative to the province at the June 22nd Council meeting.

There is no organized opposition to this policy. Building owners that are organized enough to oppose such a policy are already performing internal benchmarking. It is generally the Class B and Class C buildings not owned/operated by larger firms that will be required to make changes to their operations.

BOMA Toronto’s Energy Committee has been working closely with the City and the Province to ensure that the new policy is in the best interest of BOMA members.

It is our position that this is a very positive policy that will help building owners better manage their utility costs and will help drive energy conservation.

Scott Martin, P.Eng.