After collecting data for the year 2011, the City of Seattle has determined that more than 87 percent of its commercial and multifamily buildings of 50,000 square feet or larger are tracking and reporting their building energy performance. The data represents about 1,160 properties and 200 million square feet of total building space. 

Data is collected in adherence to Seattle’s benchmarking ordinance, which requires owners of commercial and multifamily apartment and condo buildings 20,000 square feet or larger to annually benchmark energy performance. Fines are assessed to owners who don’t submit their buildings’ energy usage. 

Other major cities that have similar energy benchmarking legislation include New York City, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Austin, Texas, and Washington, D.C. Though other cities require public disclosure of energy data, Seattle does not, though it does require disclosure to tenants, buyers, and financial institutions. 

Energy use in Seattle on a broader scale is also tracked through the 2030 District Dashboard, part of the Seattle 2030 District Planning Committee’s work to set up a high-performance building district encompassing 83 square miles and nearly 600,000 people.