The Energy Benchmarking and Reporting Program (Ordinance 123226 and 123993) requires owners of non-residential and multifamily buildings (20,000 sf or larger) to track energy performance and annually report to the City of Seattle. Buildings less than 20,000 SF may report voluntarily, but are not required.

Reports are due each April 1st for the previous year’s building energy use. For example, 2016 data is due on April 1, 2017. Building owners must annually update their Portfolio Manager account and confirm compliance for annual reporting by this deadline. Starting in 2015, reports with unusually low or high (outlier) EUIs and buildings using “default values” for the ENERGY STAR score will be required to make corrections.

Failure to submit an accurate annual benchmarking report to the City of Seattle will result in assessed penalties that accrue quarterly, starting 90 days after the reporting deadlines for each year of required building energy data. The penalty structure has been designed to encourage compliance. Building owners that do not comply with Seattle Municipal Code 22.920.010 will be sent a Notice of Violation with an assessed penalty amount. If a building owner does not correct the violation within the next quarter, the penalty increases through a quarterly accruing fine. Quarterly penalty amounts are based on building size:

  • 50,000 SF or greater non-residential and multifamily buildings = $1,000 per quarter
    Total annual penalty of $4,000 per reporting year.
  • 20,000 to 49,999 SF non-residential and multifamily buildings = $500 per quarter
    Total annual penalty of $2,000 per reporting year.

A building owner may also be fined for submitting an inaccurate performance report or for failing to disclose energy performance upon request. In addition, a tenant that fails to provide information necessary for a building owner to benchmark may be subject to the fine.  The first violation is a $150 fine and subsequent violations are a $500 fine.

On February 29, 2016, the Seattle City Council approved an amendment to the existing Energy Benchmarking ordinance (Ordinance 125000) to make building energy performance data publically available.

Additionally, building owners are required to provide a Statement of Energy Performance (SEP) upon request, to:

  • A current tenant – within seven days of the request;
  • A prospective tenant negotiating a lease agreement – within seven days of the request, and at or before the time the owner presents the lease agreement;
  • A prospective buyer negotiating a purchase and sale agreement – within seven days of the request, and at or before the time the owner presents a sales contract;
  • A prospective lender considering an application for financing or refinancing of the building – within seven days of the request, and at or before the time the owner presents a loan application.
  • Lending institutions can request a disclosure report while processing any transaction involving the sale or lease of an entire building or of a separately owned portion of a building (e.g. a condominium unit). A disclosure report can also be requested in conjunction with financing of other activities, such as tenant improvements or a major renovation.

Failure to respond to an energy disclosure report request is subject to enforcement.  

If you have questions about the City of Seattle’s requirements, please give us a call (844) 735-4634

energy performance