Earlier this week, the Madison Common Council directed city staff to begin work on the creation of a public/private voluntary energy benchmarking program. Benchmarking is a way to measure a building’s energy usage by comparing to usage from similar-sized buildings.
The adoption of this ordinance is the culmination of nearly two years of work. Originally, the program was proposed as mandatory for every city building over a certain size. The Chamber opposed a mandatory approach, which would have been costly, contentious and created false, negative public perceptions regarding energy usage. Rather than malign businesses, the Chamber advocated for a voluntary program that could educate businesses about the benefits of benchmarking to reduce energy consumption and lower costs.
The Chamber commends city leaders for defeating a mandatory, combative approach, and working towards a collaborative, voluntary program that can do great things for both the city’s sustainability and private business goals. In particular, special thanks goes to Alder Matt Phair for his leadership on this issue.
The Chamber will continue to work with all stakeholders in the design, promotion and execution of the program.