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200 D.C. property owners face fines for missing benchmarking data

Monday - 10/28/2013, 1:04pm  ET

Roughly 200 of D.C.’s commercial property owners face a choice — turn in their energy and water benchmarking data, or pay a substantial fine.

The last-ditch deadline for benchmarking submissions is Nov. 8 (the initial deadline was April 1). Of the 1,000-some privately owned buildings of more than 100,000 square feet subject to the law, 80 percent have been benchmarked, according to the D.C. Department of the Environment.

That means about 200 buildings are missing. Once the Nov. 8 deadline passes, those property owners will have a 30-day warning period, after which fines will accrue at $100 per day until the District gets its numbers.

Need to know whether your building is on the list? Find out here.

All privately owned buildings 200,000 square feet or larger were to have to provided benchmarking data on April 1 for 2010, 2011 and 2012. Buildings 150,000 to 199,999 square feet were to have submitted 2011 and 2012 data, and buildings between 100,000 and 149,999 square feet were to supply only 2012 data.

Buildings between 50,000 and 99,000 square feet are off the hook for 2013, but will have to submit in 2014.

The D.C. Sustainable Energy Utility has hosted 11 hands-on benchmarking training sessions and fielded more than 1,000 requests for help through email and a benchmarking hotline. That said, the compliance rate has only improved by about 10 percent since April 1.

The data must be entered into the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s free Energy Star Portfolio Manager software. That system was down during the recent federal shutdown, which forced a postponement of the earlier benchmarking deadline.

The information will be publicly released later this year, providing current and potential future tenants the opportunity to better weigh sustainability in their location decisions.

© 2013 American City Business Journals, Inc.