Seattle Energy Benchmarking

What the Law Says

Seattle’s Building Energy Benchmarking and Reporting Program (Ordinance No. 123226 and 123993)

Seattle Building Energy Benchmarking Law (Seattle Municipal Code 22.920) requires owners of non-residential and multifamily buildings (20,000 square feet or larger) to track energy performance and annually report to the City of Seattle. Buildings account for more than one third of Seattle’s core greenhouse gas emissions. The benchmarking policy supports Seattle’s goals to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions from existing buildings. The law:

  • Aims to reduce energy use by 10% in commercial buildings and 20% in residential buildings by 2030
  • Large buildings (multifamily and nonresidential) are required to benchmark performance using Portfolio Manager and disclose results to the Seattle Department of Planning and Development
  • Building owners must also disclose performance information to potential tenants, buyer’s and lenders

Benchmarking energy will have a long-term impact on building efficiency in Seattle and will lead to lower business operating costs and more affordable housing. By becoming more efficient and conserving energy, the City will be able to avoid the need for additional power plants and electricity capacity.

Who is Required to Comply

This ordinance impacts owners or managers of all nonresidential and multifamily buildings larger than 20,000 square feet.


Building owners now have until January 2, 2023 to submit 2021 annual benchmark reports. Owners that remain non-complaint with SMC 22.920 after 1/2/2023 will be subject to second quarter (doubled) fines based on building size

How to Report

Building owners are required to submit their previous year’s energy usage reports through EPA’s Portfolio Manager. The Cotocon Group can help you through the process of Seattle Building Energy Benchmarking.

What are the fines Like?

  • Buildings 20,000 to 49,999 SF – $1,000 fine
  • Buildings 50,000 SF or greater – $2,000 fine

Worried about the fines? Call Us Now!