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Real Property & Development Review

Seattle Landlords’ Energy Efficiency Reports Due Oct. 3, 2011 or April 1, 2012

Posted in Land Use

Authored by:  Clayton Graham and Jim Greenfield

Many Seattle landlords and other building owners will soon need to begin reporting on the energy efficiency of their buildings. As reported in DWT’s Northwest Real Estate Blog last year, a Seattle ordinance passed in connection with the state’s Efficiency First! Act requires many Seattle building owners to provide “energy benchmarking reports” to the Director of the Department of Planning & Development using the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager or a similar system.

The first reports for many nonresidential buildings exceeding 50,000 square feet are due on Oct. 3, 2011  (the ordinance had set an initial reporting deadline of April 1, 2011, but DPD granted a six-month grace period). Owners of certain multifamily and mixed-use buildings (including five or more dwelling units) with initial occupancy prior to Jan. 1, 2011 must file their initial benchmarking reports by April 1, 2012. All other owners of multifamily buildings must file within one year of initial occupancy, and energy benchmarking reports must be updated prior to April 1 of each year following the first report. Owners of both nonresidential and multifamily buildings may request information regarding energy use that they are otherwise unable to obtain from their tenants. Tenants who refuse to provide the requested information may be cited and fined. Seattle building owners should pay close attention to these requirements, as owners who provide inaccurate reports or who fail to report may be cited and fined or may receive a notice of violation. Building owners must also provide copies of the energy benchmarking reports to current and prospective tenants, prospective buyers and lenders who ask for them.

Read more about the Seattle Energy Benchmarking and Disclosure Program here.


This advisory is a publication of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP. Our purpose in publishing this advisory is to inform our clients and friends of recent legal developments. It is not intended, nor should it be used, as a substitute for specific legal advice as legal counsel may only be given in response to inquiries regarding particular situations.