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City releases energy benchmarking report of facilities

 

August 20, 2019



The City of Pittsburgh Planning Department's Sustainability and Resilience Division has released the first annual energy benchmarking report for municipal buildings owned and operated by the City of Pittsburgh. 

This information will assist prioritization of investments in the city's municipal building stock. By revisiting the progress yearly, city officials will be able to track the impact of implemented energy saving projects on overall energy and emission reduction and create accountability for the city's actions. 

Initial findings include: 

The City-County Building at 414 Grant Street stands out as the highest energy consumer due to its size and the age of its systems. Actions are being proposed to create energy savings in 2020, including LED lighting retrofit and calking windows to eliminate cold drafts. To amplify those savings, the city is evaluating solutions to optimize both the building's systems and electricity demand to control utility spending in an increasingly changing energy landscape.  

Most of the city facilities' EUIs (energy use intensity) are high or average compared to the national median of buildings of the same use type, indicating some potentially great opportunities for energy savings.  

The city spent $2,700,000 to operate the facilities analyzed in this report. If the city reduces energy use of these buildings by 50 percent now, it would save at least $1,350,000 every year.  

Critical facilities such as 24/7 EMS facilities have a wide range of energy uses and EUIs. The Sustainability and Resilience Division is investigating further to identify critical loads of these facilities to better understand why the energy uses vary so much between buildings of similar size and use. This analysis also will include sizing of solar panels and batteries that would allow these facilities to operate fully even during power outages due to weather events. 

The report is available at: https://pittsburghpa.gov/dcp/reports-and-datasets

In October 2018, Pittsburgh City Council approved the Pittsburgh Climate Action Plan 3.0, under which the city seeks to achieve dramatic greenhouse gas reductions by 2050 in an effort to address climate change and create a stronger, healthier, and more resilient Pittsburgh.  

Under this plan, established by Mayor William Peduto, the city aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2030, and 80 percent by 2050. It also seeks to reduce energy and water use by 50 percent by 2030.  

To reach these goals, the city must address buildings, which currently account for 80 percent of the city's carbon emissions and for a significant portion of city energy use.  

To that end, City Council passed an energy and water benchmarking and transparency ordinance requiring all non-residential buildings over 50,000 square feet to share their energy and water consumption data with the city through Energy Star Portfolio Manager by June 1, 2018 and yearly thereafter. The City of Pittsburgh – through the benchmarking report – is leading the way by tracking energy use in municipal buildings with an eye on how to better improve the city's building energy performance. 

This report will be followed by the online publication of the  compliance status of buildings for 2017 and 2018, as well as an overview report of energy use of the public and private building stock  followed by the publication of data on by the Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center.  

More information about the ordinance, how to comply, and the list of private buildings that must comply can be found at:https://pittsburghpa.gov/dcp/building-benchmarking.

 

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