San Francisco Department of the Environment

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Benchmarking Overview

San Francisco Environment Code Chapter 20 requires that each whole non-residential building larger than 10,000 square feet must be benchmarked using Energy Star Portfolio Manager. Portfolio Manager is an online tool provided at no cost to the user by the US Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy.

Building owners or their representatives must annually electronically share a brief report of key benchmarking results with the Department of Environment, and tenants. This report is an “Annual Energy Benchmark Summary”, and is based on data from the full calendar year. For example, a 2016 report will be based on energy used from January 2016 to December 2016.

The Annual Energy Benchmark Summary report will include:

  • Contact information and square footage
  • Energy Use Intensity (how much energy the building used per square foot for the year)
  • 1-100 Performance Rating provided by Portfolio Manager, where applicable
  • Greenhouse gas emissions from energy usage

Exemptions to Benchmarking Requirements

An Annual Energy Benchmark Summary is not required for:

  • New Buildings: (The Certificate of Occupancy from the Department of Building Inspection is dated less than two years prior to the Annual Energy Benchmark Summary due date.)
  • Unoccupied Buildings: (The building had less than one full-time equivalent occupant for the previous calendar year.)

In all other cases, the Annual Energy Benchmark Summary is required. To obtain an exemption to benchmarking requirements, please write to: benchmark@sfenvironment.org or fill out the Benchmarking Exemption Request. In the message, include:

  • Contact information for the owner, and the owner’s agent if applicable.
  • Assessor Parcel Number (block and lot)
  • Gross square footage of the building(s)
  • Reason for exemption:
    • Date and Permit Number for Certificate of Occupancy, or a copy.
    • Signed statement that the building was unoccupied for the 12 months of the prior calendar year.

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