Philadelphia Joins Open Building Performance Data Initiative

Today, U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz announced a series of initiatives aimed at using open and accessible data to ensure a “clean, secure, and reliable” energy future. As part of this announcement, the City of Philadelphia is pleased to commit to using the Department of Energy’s SEED platform to track and publish building energy data as part of Philadelphia’s municipal and citywide building benchmarking programs.

SEED is a web-based platform that will enable both the city and individual building owners to track their buildings’ energy performance over time. SEED is designed to integrate with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, the EPA tool that has become the standard for energy benchmarking and disclosure policies nationwide.

To learn more about SEED and the other initiatives set forth by Secretary Moniz today, visit the White House blog. Information about Philadelphia’s benchmarking program can be found at


Waste-Watchers Get 2013 Marathon Results

It took a bit longer to tally than the runners’ times, but today brings great news from our friends at SCA:

According to the report, of the 29.3 tons of waste generated at the 2013 Marathon, approximately 85.7 percent, or 25.1 tons was diverted from landfill.   This indicates an increase over the 2012 Marathon, where 24.7 tons of waste was diverted.  The City’s projections for the 2013 Marathon were an 85 percent diversion rate.

See the full press release at SCA’s website. The next Waste-Watchers volunteer opportunity will be at the Philly Cycling Classic on June 1st. If you’re interested in helping Philadelphia meet its waste diversion targets at this event, RSVP at this link.

Citywide Benchmarking Results Released

As promised in our last benchmarking-specific blog post, full results of Year One reporting are now available (see below for the results presentation). This report is the culmination of months of hard work by building owners and operators throughout the City of Philadelphia, as well as utility, non-profit, and federal partners.

Among the key findings from this report:

  • Ratable buildings in Philadelphia have an average ENERGY STAR score of 64, well above the nationwide average of 50.
  • Hundreds of buildings fall below this nationwide average, demonstrating the opportunity represented by energy efficiency retrofits.
  • Compliance rates were similar to benchmarking programs in other cities, but improved outreach and guidance will be necessary for Year 2.

The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability looks forward to this continued partnership with building owners in the years to come. The deadline for Year 2 benchmarking is June 30, 2014. If you have questions about the results of Year 1 reporting or compliance with Year 2, please contact our office at

Update on Council Legislation to Make Office of Sustainability Permanent

I am pleased to report that the legislation Councilwoman Reynolds Brown and Councilman Kenney co-sponsored to make the Office of Sustainability permanent within Philadelphia city government was positively voted out of the Committee on Law and Government earlier this week. Philadelphia has made tremendous sustainability progress over the past five years, but we have much more work to do. This measure would be a great step toward keeping the great work happening all across Philadelphia going strong.

As a next step, the legislation will have its first reading in City Council today and will then be poised for a second reading and final passage on Thursday, May 8th. Because the legislation proposes a change to the City Charter, a 2/3 majority (11 votes) will be required for passage. If it is passed by Council, the initiative would then go before voters on the November ballot. Quite a journey!

We need your help to spread the word that this is happening. If you can, please activate your networks between now and next Thursday to reach out to City Council. We want to generate as manyemails and calls to members as we can. Folks should be directed to contact their district representative along with at-large members to tell them they support Bill No. 130878 and Resolution No. 130884, which seek to make the Office of Sustainability permanent. It’s always great to talk to a member directly if they are available. But otherwise, messages with staff are just fine.

Below please find contact information for members and links to the legislation.

Thank you in advance for your help. Let me know if you have any questions or f there is anything that I can do to assist you in your outreach efforts.


Katherine Gajewski, Director of Sustainability


The District Council Member Map can be found here.

Darrell Clarke

Council President, District 5 215-686-2070
Mark Squilla

District 1 215-686-3458
Kenyatta Johnson

District 2 215-686-3412
Jannie Blackwell

District 3 215-686-3418
Curtis Jones, Jr.

District 4 215-686-3416
Bobby Henon

District 6 215-686-3444
Maria Quiñones-Sanchez

District 7 215-686-3448
Cindy Bass

District 8 215-686-3424
Marian Tasco

District 9 215-686-3454
Brian O’Neill

District 10

Brian.O’ 215-686-3422
Wilson Goode, Jr.

Member At-Large 215-686-3414
William Greenlee

Member At-Large 215-686-3446
Dennis O’Brien

Member At-Large

Dennis.O’ 215-686-3440
James Kenney

Member At-Large 215-686-3450
Blondell Reynolds Brown

Member At-Large 215-686-3438
David Oh

Member At-Large 215-686-3452


Resolution No. 130884: Proposing an amendment to the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter to provide for the creation of an Office of Sustainability, to provide for the powers and duties of such Office, and to otherwise provide for incorporation of the Office into the City government; and providing for the submission of the amendment to the electors of Philadelphia.

Sponsors: Councilmember Reynolds Brown, Councilmember Blackwell, Councilmember Goode, Councilmember Jones, Councilmember Henon, Councilmember Oh, Councilmember Quiñones Sánchez, Councilmember Johnson, Councilmember Kenney

Bill No. 130878: Providing for the submission to the qualified electors of the City of Philadelphia of an amendment to The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter establishing and defining the responsibilities of the Office of Sustainability; fixing the date of a special election for such purpose; prescribing the form of ballot questions to be voted on; and authorizing the appropriate officers to publish notice and to make arrangements for the special election.

Sponsors: Councilmember Reynolds Brown, Councilmember Kenney