Austin Energy Conservation Audit and Disclosure (ECAD) Ordinance

What is Austin Energy Conservation Audit and Disclosure Ordinance?

Austin Energy Conservation Audit and Disclosure (ECAD) program applies to commercial properties exceeding 10,000 square feet of conditioned space within Austin city limits served by Austin Energy. Through annual benchmarking, the program focuses on measuring and reporting building energy use via a designated method. This regular tracking encourages commercial building owners to identify areas for improvement, ultimately reducing energy use and leading to cost savings and a more sustainable built environment.

What buildings are required per Austin Energy Conservation Audit and Disclosure Ordinance?

  • Commercial, Multifamily, or residential buildings over 50,000 square feet.

While the program focuses on commercial buildings, ECAD also applies to:

  • Multifamily buildings (5+ units): These require an energy audit every 10 years.
  • Residential homes (10+ years old, under 4 units): An energy audit is needed before selling, with results disclosed to potential buyers.

Only buildings served by Austin Energy are subject to ECAD.

What is the penalty for non-compliance?

Failure to comply with ECAD for commercial, multifamily, or residential buildings may result in fines ranging from $500 to $2,000.

What is the compliance process?

Building owners must report their energy usage data to Energy Star Portfolio Manager, a reporting tool that allows building owners to compare their building’s energy efficiency with similar buildings.

What is the deadline for Energy Conservation Audit and Disclosure Compliance?

All non-manufacturing buildings (those not qualifying for the manufacturing exemption) must report an energy benchmark rating to the City of Austin by June 1st of each year.

What utilities are required for benchmarking reporting?

  • Electricity
  • Natural Gas
  • District Energy
  • Any other purchased fuel

What is the purpose for Energy Conservation Audit and Disclosure ordinance?

The ECAD program is a key element of Austin’s Climate Protection Plan, driving energy efficiency in commercial and residential buildings. By tracking and reporting energy use, ECAD empowers businesses and homeowners to make informed choices that can:

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions: While the specific target of 365,000 metric tons by 2020 might be outdated, ECAD certainly contributes to Austin’s overall emission reduction goals.
  • Lower energy demand: Benchmarking helps identify areas for improvement, potentially leading to reduced energy consumption during peak hours.

This focus on energy efficiency positions Austin as a leader in sustainability, inspiring other cities to adopt similar programs.

Interested in benchmarking help?

    If you are interested to learn more how Energy Fave can help with Energy benchmarking for your building or if you have more questions about the whole reporting process, feel free to email us: