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Benchmarking Energy Use Data

Benchmarking Energy Use Data

Current information (09/18/2023): The statewide Building Energy Use Benchmarking Program has not yet launched. The Department of Commerce is providing this information to you now and will update as new information becomes available.  

Check back here for updates and you can also stay current by signing up for our energy funding newsletter.  Additional information about this program can be found in Minnesota Laws 2023 Chapter 60, Article Section 34.  

The Minnesota Department of Commerce is preparing a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a vendor to implement a statewide building energy benchmarking program. Commerce anticipates the RFP will be available in fall 2023. We do not yet have an estimate for a program launch date. 

The Department of Commerce is responsible for establishing and maintaining a building energy benchmarking program.  The purpose of the program is to:  

  1. make a building's owners, tenants, and potential tenants aware of (i) the building's energy consumption levels and patterns, and (ii) how the building's energy use compares with that of similar buildings and/or a reference performance level (such as a building energy code) ; and
  2. enhance the likelihood that an owner adopts energy conservation measures in the owner's building as a way to reduce energy use, operating costs, and greenhouse gas emissions. 

More detailed information about benchmarking, including statutory definitions, can be found here. The building energy benchmarking program applies to buildings in the following locations:  

  • Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, and Washington Counties; and  
  • Any city outside the metropolitan area with a population of over 50,000 residents that has one or more buildings with a square footage of 50,000 sq ft or more.  

For purposes of the program, properties are classified as follows:  

  • Class 1 properties (100,000 sq ft and above) in the above locations which must start reporting energy use data by June 1, 2025.  
  • Class 2 properties (50,000 sq ft – 99,999 sq ft) in the above locations which must start reporting energy use data by June 1, 2026.  

The statute provides some exemptions from the benchmarking requirements for specific building types, including multifamily buildings with fewer than 5 units, manufacturing and agricultural buildings, and other limited situations.   

Energy benchmarking has been required for publicly-owned buildings in Minnesota since 2004. In addition, some local government units have also enacted building energy benchmarking requirements. Buildings subject to existing benchmarking requirements by the state, a city, or other political subdivision may continue to follow those requirements if they are equivalent to or more stringent than the Statewide Building Energy Use Benchmarking program.  

After the reporting deadlines, the Department of Commerce will post on its website: 

  • Annual summary statistics on energy use for all covered properties; 
  • Annual summary statistics on energy use for all covered properties, aggregated by covered property class, city, and county; 
  • The percentage of covered properties in each building class that are in compliance with benchmarking requirements; and 
  • For each covered property, the address, total energy use, energy use intensity, annual greenhouse gas emissions, and an energy performance score, if available. 
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