Mayor Nutter Signs Energy Benchmarking Ordinance



Philadelphia, October 9, 2012 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter signed two City Council Bills, one that will improve energy efficiency and sustainability in the City of Philadelphia, and the other will increase residential fire safety.


Mayor Nutter first signed Bill No. 120428 and talked about the importance of the City being as energy-efficient as possible.  “In order to make Philadelphia the greenest city in America, everyone needs to do their part. Energy benchmarking and disclosure will encourage people and organizations to think how to be more energy efficient and present opportunities for improvement in energy management,” said Mayor Nutter.


Bill No. 120428 amends the ‘Energy Conservation’ portion of The Philadelphia Code to require large commercial buildings to benchmark and report energy and water usage data. The bill’s purpose is not only to make organizations aware of their energy use, but also identify opportunities for improvement and assist in establishing energy consumption baselines that will help set future goals. The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability will issue regulations this fall and begin doing outreach and education in the winter and spring.  Building owners will need to benchmark their buildings using Energy Start Portfolio Manager and report the results to the City beginning in 2013. The following year, the City will make this information available to the public.


Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds-Brown echoed the Mayor’s remarks saying, “Energy benchmarking will provide the critical information and data necessary to make Philadelphia a more energy efficient city. Inevitably, we will hand over the keys to this planet to our children and grandchildren.  I join the Mayor in making sure that to the best of our ability, we hand them a more sustainable and healthier planet to grow and prosper.”


Mayor Nutter also signed Bill No. 120278, amending the Philadelphia Fire Code to require smoke alarms in one- and two-family dwellings to have 10-year, non-removable batteries, effective January 9, 2013.  Once installed, the smoke alarms will not need the battery replaced for the life of the alarm.  One- and two-family dwellings built on or after January 1, 1988, and apartment dwelling units, are not affected as those dwellings are required to have hard-wired smoke alarms.  Smoke alarms are required on each level of a dwelling, including the basement.  On the floors with one or more bedrooms, the smoke alarm for that floor is required to be installed in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms.  Installation should be in accordance with the manufacturer’s instruction booklet.

“This measure will make the job of the Philadelphia Fire Department – ensuring the safety of our homes and businesses – that much easier.  Tragedies can be prevented when working smoke alarms are present.”  Fire Commissioner Ayers added, “Ten-year, lithium battery-powered smoke alarms provide our citizens with a longer period of Optimum Fire Protection and Community Risk Reduction.”

Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr., the primary sponsor of the bill, said, “With this bill fire safety is no longer obsolete.  No longer is the reminder change the clock; change the battery relevant. I would like to thank Commissioner Ayers; the Fire Department, and it’s volunteer fire safety representatives; local 22; and the cooperation of residents, commercial owners and support systems who have helped reduce fire fatalities and injuries throughout our great City.”


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