Sustainability is Key for “The City Beautiful”

Posted By: Amanda Gill Local Advocacy ,

The City of Orlando is often referred to as “The City Beautiful.” The city takes great pride in being a hub for innovation and being a picturesque place to call home. In an effort to make Orlando a wonderful place to live and work for years to come, Mayor Dyer established the Green Works initiative in 2007. The goal of these programs is, “to make Orlando environmentally-friendly, economically successful and socially vibrant.”

There are several facets to the Green Works initiative but one policy that directly impacts the industry is an ordinance that seeks to reduce energy and water consumption in large buildings, including multifamily properties. This policy is called the Building Energy and Water Efficiency Strategy (BEWES) and we expect other local governments in the central Florida area to adopt similar policies in the future. Below is a brief summary of this policy and AAGO’s advocacy efforts.

In December of 2016, the Orlando City Council unanimously adopted the BEWES ordinance. This policy requires commercial, institutional, and multi-family properties greater than 50,000 square feet in size to track building energy and water use and report this data to the City on an annual basis beginning in May 2018. The reporting will be done using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, a free tool provided by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The information produced by this report will be publically available online but buildings will not be penalized for poor performance. Instead, low performing buildings will be required to perform an energy audit, which is offered for free through OUC. This audit can be used to identify how the building can improve energy efficiency in the future and identify problem areas or appliances on-site.

The final draft of this ordinance was a result of extensive feedback from AAGO and other community stakeholders. We are pleased to report that the final version of the ordinance language took into account many of the concerns expressed by the multifamily industry.

The chart below showcases some of the positive changes AAGO was able to advocate for during the drafting of this ordinance.

 

 

AAGO is grateful to have a positive working relationship with the City of Orlando and the association looks forward to working with City on this initiative in the years to come. As we prepare for the full implementation of the ordinance in August of 2018, AAGO will continue to work with the City to provide members with updates, training and resources. If you have any questions regarding the BEWES ordinance and how it may impact your property, please do not hesitate to contact Chip@AAGO.org for more information. 

In addition you can also visit: http://www.cityoforlando.net/greenworks/energy-and-green-buildings/ for additional details regarding the ordinance or http://www.cityoforlando.net/greenworks/ for more information regarding Orlando’s Green Works programs