The city of Orlando is getting serious about building efficiency; in fact they are the first state in Florida to adopt a policy forcing businesses to consider how to improve energy and water use.
With their sights set on the future, Orlando’s city council recently adopted the Building Energy and Water Efficiency Strategy (BEWES). A local ordinance, the purpose of the BEWES is to educate the city’s buildings sector about their energy and water use while also identifying opportunities for implementing new energy efficient practices.
Recognizing that they have an important role to play in creating a healthier, more sustainable nation, states and cities throughout the country are beginning to examine energy and water use within their borders. Many are focusing on a known high carbon pollution producer – the buildings sector, which is understood to consume just under half of the nation’s overall energy supply.
The city of Orlando is no different and forged ahead, conducting operational analysis on its own facilities first. From there, energy-savings upgrades and retrofits were installed, resulting in energy cost savings for the city of over 2 million (USD) each year.
Building on this success, the Orlando Building Energy and Water Efficiency Strategy, which will come into effect in May 2018, will focus on privately-owned buildings over 50,000 square feet. Owners and tenants will be required to track and annually share their energy and water use with the goal of identifying opportunities to develop and implement energy efficient practices that will translate into financial and environmental savings.
“Over the next 15 years, the policy is projected to save an estimated $208 million in energy costs, drive the creation of more than 500 local high-wage jobs, conserve 900 million gallons of fresh water, and avoid an estimated 1.1 million metric tons of carbon pollution” reported Kimi Narita of the Natural Resources Defense Council.
The knowledge that more sustainable, healthy and successful cities can be achieved through knowledge sharing and the implementation of energy and water use best practices shows that demanding energy efficiency from the buildings sector just makes sense.