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City Seeks Public Comment on Commercial and Multifamily Energy and Water Use Reporting Ordinance

Archived News Release: February 11, 2021 - ​The City of Ann Arbor wants public input on a Commercial and Multifamily Benchmarking and Transparency draft ordinance, an initiative of the City's A2ZERO Carbon Neutrality Plan. The draft ordinance was developed in partnership with the city's office of sustainability and innovations (OSI) and a community task force to provide insight into the energy and water usage of commercial and multifamily buildings in the community, and now public comment is being sought.

The survey gathering public comment on the ordinance, which can be found at, is open to all Ann Arbor building owners, residents and businesses, and will take an estimated 20–30 minutes to complete. Many of the questions are optional. The deadline to complete the survey is March 5, 2021. 

The draft benchmarking ordinance aims to help Ann Arbor building owners identify opportunities to increase the energy efficiency and water efficiency of their buildings, which currently account for 68% of community-wide greenhouse gas emissions. The OSI hosted a public open house Feb. 4 to present the details of the policy. The open house included community speakers such as local building owners/property managers and the Ann Arbor 2030 District, a partner organization working to reduce existing building energy consumption, water use and transportation emissions. A recording of the open house, along with additional background information and a link to the public comment survey, is also available at

Benchmarking is a mechanism for buildings to measure and manage their energy and water use. It creates information that will enable more informed decision-making around building energy use and efficiency investments. The ordinance will help improve the energy and water efficiency particularly in large buildings across Ann Arbor. By providing reliable data to building owners and tenants, and consistent information to the market, benchmarking and transparency leads to average energy savings of 2–3% each year, and about 7% over 3 years.  

Benchmarking is one of the 44 actions named in the city's A2ZERO Carbon Neutrality Plan, a document created with input from thousands of Ann Arborites that charts a path toward achieving a just transition to community-wide carbon neutrality by 2030. The A2ZERO plan was unanimously adopted by City Council in June 2020. 

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Media Contact Information

Thea Yagerlener
Energy Analyst
[email protected]

Zach Waas Smith
Community Engagement Specialist
[email protected]

Ann Arbor has 123,851 residents, spans 28.97 square miles and is frequently recognized as a foremost place to live, learn, work, thrive and visit. To keep up with City of Ann Arbor information, subscribe for email updates, and follow the city on Twitter and Facebook. The city's mission is to deliver exceptional services that sustain and enhance a vibrant, safe and diverse community.