Comparing Market Effects of Benchmarking and Disclosure Ordinances in 4 U.S. Cities

The research team of Dermisi, Choe, Lee, and Shang combined real estate, sustainability, and energy consumption data from New York City, Washington D.C., San Francisco, and Chicago to analyze the impact that energy benchmarking and disclosure ordinances have on energy performance and marketability in office buildings.

RESULTS:

The findings reveal that the ordinances in those cities did not have an immediate impact. However, policy implementation for all four cities correlates to improved marketability of energy-efficient office properties over time. Energy-efficient buildings exhibit higher occupancy after benchmarking and disclosure policies are implemented, and are more likely to be positively affected by those policies than their less efficient peer due to increased transparency and insight into building performance. A possible explanation for this is that the operational insights that benchmarking data can provide can raise awareness among investors and encourage investment in energy conservation measures (ECMs). In San Francisco and Chicago in particular, ENERGY STAR® certified buildings consistently exhibit stronger real estate performance (e.g., higher occupancy) compared to a non-ENERGY STAR building after policy implementation.

The research team intends to continue this analysis in the coming years to better understand the impacts of these relatively new policies over a longer time period. This insights from this study may inform future energy disclosure and performance policies and potentially provide further evidence of the market impacts and financial benefits of pursuing energy efficiency investments.

To read more about the methodology and full results behind this research, click here.

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