Pittsburgh Building Benchmarking Ordinance

What is Pittsburgh Building Benchmarking Ordinance?

Pittsburgh Building Benchmarking Ordinance mandates owners of sizeable, nonresidential buildings to report energy and water consumption annually. This increased transparency allows businesses and individuals to make informed decisions regarding building specifications, while also establishing a mechanism for evaluating building efficiency and overseeing maintenance needs. Pittsburgh Building Benchmarking ordinance was adopted in October 2016 and the reporting came into effect in 2017.

What buildings are required per Pittsburgh Building Benchmarking Ordinance?

  • Any non-residential building with indoor floor space of fifty thousand (50,000) square feet or more.
  • All non-residential portions of any mixed-use building where a total of at least fifty thousand (50,000) square feet of indoor floor space is devoted to any non-residential use.


Your building may qualify for an exemption from reporting if:

  • The covered building does not have a certificate of occupancy or temporary certificate of occupancy for all twelve (12) months of the calendar year being benchmarked.
  • A demolition permit has been issued for the covered building during the calendar year being benchmarked, provided that demolition work has commenced, energy-related systems have been compromised and legal occupancy is no longer possible prior to June 1 for the applicable year.
  • The covered building had average physical occupancy of less than fifty (50) percent throughout the calendar year for which benchmarking is required.
  • The Department determines that, due to special circumstances unique to the covered building and not based on a condition caused by actions of the owner, applicant, or operator, that strict compliance with provisions of this Chapter would cause undue hardship or would not be in the public interest.
  • The covered building is primarily used for manufacturing or other industrial purposes for which benchmarking results would not meaningfully reflect the covered building’s energy use characteristics due to the intensive use of process energy.
  • The owner is unable to benchmark due to the failure of either a utility or a tenant (or both) to provide the information necessary for the owner to complete any benchmarking submittal requirement.

What is the penalty for non-compliance?

Currently there is no penalty for non compliant buildings.

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 Pittsburgh Building Benchmarking Compliance?

The ordinance states that the compliance deadline will be June 1 and the exemption request deadline will be 60 days prior on April 2. 

What utilities are required for benchmarking reporting?

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

What is the purpose for Pittsburgh Building Energy Benchmarking ordinance?

The ordinance’s goal is to ensure the long-term vitality of Pittsburgh community. By implementing benchmarking, the City of Pittsburgh aims to advance towards the energy and water reduction goals outlined in the Pittsburgh 2030 District, targeting a 50% decrease below the baseline usage. Beyond aligning with the city’s climate goals, these requirements offer valuable insights that can assist building owners in enhancing the performance of their properties, thereby benefiting their financial outcomes and improving the comfort of work and living spaces for tenants.

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: Info@energyfave.com