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Atlanta Aims To Reduce Big Buildings’ Energy Use

The city of Atlanta hopes to cut down on how much energy big commercial buildings use.
The city of Atlanta hopes to cut down on how much energy big commercial buildings use.
Credit Gregor Smith / flickr.com/flc
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Owners of big buildings in Atlanta are going to have to start reporting how much energy and water they use.

The city hopes the recently passed rule will eventually lead to more efficiency. Atlanta has a goal to reduce commercial energy consumption 20 percent by the year 2020. 

Next year, the ordinance kicks in for commercial buildings that are at least 25,000 square feet. Landlords will have to report their energy and water use every year and do an audit looking for places to improve every 10 years. The city will begin reporting numbers for buildings it owns this year. 

“When we take a look at our footprint, the buildings in the city of Atlanta are responsible for 66 percent of the energy consumption within the city, and they are also the largest emitters of greenhouse gas emissions,” said Matt Cox, with the city’s Office of Sustainability.

Once landlords start tracking the data, Cox said he says hopes they’ll also start looking for ways to save money and energy.   

The reporting requirement could lead to cuts that get halfway to the city’s goal, Cox said..

“This is something that people are naturally pursuing,” said Brandy Mitcham, Government Affairs Coordinator at the Building Owners and Managers Association of Georgia. “Overall, we don’t like the idea of mandates being established.”