The Minneapolis City Council is in the process of reviewing a proposed ordinance that would require more transparency from large commercial buildings about their energy usage. The ordinance, authored by City Council member Elizabeth Glidden, would require the owners of commercial buildings larger than 50,000 square feet to report their building’s energy usage, which would then be calculated and rated by Energy Star, according to an article published in the Star Tribune. The ratings could then be viewed by the public online.
The proposed ordinance is a good idea and is one that several cities in the U.S. have already adopted. Requiring large commercial buildings to report their energy usage is a good way to encourage more implementation of green technology and energy efficiency without imposing potentially burdensome regulations on businesses.
While local building owners may be upset with the proposal because it could lead to public scrutiny, they must understand that inefficient energy practices not only have a negative impact on their utility bills, but it can also be detrimental to our environment and the state’s natural resources. Energy is not simply a commodity that can be purchased; it’s also a public resource that must be conserved and used in the most efficient manner possible. As more Americans become aware of climate change and the need for more green energy, lawmakers have struggled to find a good balance between imposing regulations that reduce carbon emissions and ensuring businesses are not hampered by excessive restrictions and limitations. The proposed ordinance is a good example of a reasonable energy policy that works to promote energy efficiency without hurting economic growth. City officials should pass the ordinance and continue to find business-friendly ways to promote energy efficiency.