ATLANTA — The city of Atlanta adopted a comprehensive energy policy that aims to significantly reduce citywide commercial energy use by establishing a framework for energy performance monitoring and systems maintenance.

Authored by the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, the ordinance aims to reduce the city’s energy footprint while creating jobs. The city projects the ordinance will drive a 20 percent reduction in commercial energy consumption by the year 2030, spur the creation of more than 1,000 jobs a year in the first few years, and reduce carbon emissions by 50 percent from 2013 levels by 2030.

“The unanimous vote to pass this important legislation shows that the city of Atlanta and stakeholders are fully invested in making Atlanta a top-tier city for sustainability,” said Mayor Kasim Reed. “We are building on our success with the Better Buildings Challenge to conserve more energy, boost our local economy, and cut pollution. This is the right step for the city of Atlanta and shows our leadership on the national stage.”

Atlanta’s Commercial Buildings Energy Efficiency Ordinance addresses energy use in private and city-owned buildings larger than 25,000 square feet in size. The ordinance covers 2,350 buildings that, as a whole, represent 80 percent of the city’s commercial sector. Participating buildings will be phased in, beginning with municipal buildings in 2015 and expanding to include private buildings in 2016.

The city of Atlanta is the largest property owner impacted by the legislation with some 110 buildings subject to the portfolio requirements. Already benchmarking its assets, the city is expected to begin performance reporting in the fall of 2015.

“Atlanta is paving the way for other cities to take advantage of the significant environmental and economic benefits that come with making city skylines more energy efficient,” said Melissa Wright, director, City Energy Project at Natural Resources Defense Council. “This ordinance is tailor-made for Atlanta, taking best practices from other cities and refining them to meet local needs. It will not only reduce harmful air pollution that threatens public health, but drive local job creation and help the city and building owners lower their energy bills.”

Publication date: 5/25/2015 

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