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Atlanta Launches Power to Change Initiative

Updated: Jun 4, 2020

New Energy Requirement for Private Commercial and City Owned Buildings in the City of Atlanta

The City of Atlanta passed new legislation on April 20, 2015 that has affected all private commercial and city owned buildings greater than 25,000 SF. Atlanta now joins nine other cities across the country, which includes Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Orlando, Philadelphia, and Salt Lake City. The primary goal of the “Power to Change” sustainability initiative is to reduce the city’s energy consumption by 20%, as well as carbon emissions by 50% by 2020. It is also projected that by 2020, this ordinance could save Atlanta businesses up to 100 million dollars, improve air quality and create upwards of 1,000 new jobs. In order to achieve Atlanta’s ultimate long-term goal of becoming a top-tier city for sustainability.

As a part of this new ordinance, building owners will be required to track, benchmark, and report their properties annual energy consumption to the City of Atlanta. In addition to a mandatory building energy consumption audit that will be performed once every ten years. The energy audit will focus on finding ways to reduce energy usage by upgrading equipment and systems. Furthermore, the submitted information will become public record in which the market should respond positively to reward high performing buildings.

The mandate for when bench-marking of energy usage is required varies based on building usage and gross square footage. Initial bench-marking starts in 2015 and goes through 2017 depending on your building type and size. Energy Assessments are required every 10 years with the first assessment being required based off of an Atlanta Building ID (ABID#) which will be randomly assigned.

In a world of limited resources it is clear that being energy efficient and sustainable is the way of the future. Constructing a cost effective building is important, however it is not the only determining factor in design and construction. Whether your facility is a 400 bed inpatient hospital wing or a 25,000 SF mixed used retail space, energy usage reduction will increasingly become a part of your capital improvement plans.

To learn more about the new energy ordinance, please visit:

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