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Kansas City Passes Ordinance Requiring Building Owners to Disclose Energy and Water Usage

On June 4, 2015, by a 12-1 vote, the City Council of Kansas City, Missouri, passed the Energy Empowerment Ordinance (No. 150299) that will require building owners to disclose energy and water usage.

The Ordinance, which amends Chapter 18 of the Code of Ordinances, requires private commercial and residential multifamily buildings larger than 50,000 square feet to annually benchmark and report energy and water usage through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager®. The Ordinance also applies to municipal buildings larger than 10,000 square feet.

The disclosure and reporting obligations will be phased in, starting with municipal buildings over 10,000 square feet in 2016. The obligations extend to private commercial and multifamily residential buildings over 100,000 square feet in 2017. And by 2018, all private commercial and multifamily buildings over 50,000 square feet must disclose and report information or be subject to a civil fine.

According to the City’s Legislative Fact Sheet “Energy benchmarking and reporting for buildings is akin to providing fuel efficiency information for vehicles. It enables prospective buyers and/or tenants of building space to make informed decisions. Dependent upon their priorities, some buyers may choose to purchase or lease a Hummer, while others may select a Prius. The proposed ordinance does not require any building owners to make improvements in the energy efficiency of their properties.”