Will Minneapolis Force Commercial Buildings Green?

In a report in the Star Tribune today, city leaders in Minneapolis are thing about forcing commercial building to receive a public “green” rating for their energy efficiency. The proposed ordinance would require all commercial buildings with more than 50,000 square feet to submit their utility usage and other information to Energy Star, the national program that calculates energy use. The city would then publish a 1 -100 rating in hopes of getting owners and tenants to cut their energy consumption.

We are all for going green, but is this the best way to do it?


From the StarTribune.com:

The local building owners association warns this could have detrimental effects on the marketplace, pinning low scores on buildings whose owners may lack the funds to retrofit or have tenants with high energy demands.

Kevin Lewis, executive director of the Greater Minneapolis Building Owners and Managers Association, said requiring disclosure means “it’s not a level playing field anymore.”

City Council Member Elizabeth Glidden, who authored the change, said the proposal falls in line with the city’s pledge to reduce its overall emissions. The city’s target is to cut greenhouse gas emissions 15 percent from 2006 levels by 2015. She said there would also be opportunities for job creation.

“We know when you’re working on buildings and doing energy-efficient improvements — very nuts-and-bolts kind of work — that is green jobs,” Glidden said.