Should buildings be required to report energy use the way that many restaurant menus post calorie information? That’s what one ASHRAE winter meeting session will try to find out.

The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers will present “Trends in Building Energy Disclosure: Increasing Energy Efficiency without Retrofits,” at 3 p.m. Jan. 21 in the Javits Convention Center in New York City.

Such reporting requirements are already required in seven U.S. cities and several European countries, the society said.

“The speakers will tackle the issue of building energy use on the large scale and what major cities are doing about it,” said Mike Eardley, P.E., the seminar’s chairman. “A cost-effective solution is not major construction and new efficient equipment, but tuning up existing HVAC and R systems and verifying they are operating correctly. Occupant behavior also has a major impact. Attendees will learn the energy penalties associated with these issues. We also will discuss how city level energy disclosure requirements take a necessary first step in communicating energy use information in buildings so that corrective action can be taken.”