New 2024 Benchmarking Laws for Property Managers

In an era marked by heightened environmental awareness and regulatory action, property managers across the United States are facing a new wave of New benchmarking laws that carry significant implications for the real estate industry. As we forge ahead into 2024, it’s becoming increasingly clear that these laws are not a fleeting trend but a permanent fixture in the fabric of property management—a fixture with the power to influence operational strategies, financial planning, and the very sustainability of the buildings managed. 

The threat of climate change has prompted governments at all levels to re-evaluate energy policies, with a keen focus on the real estate sector due to its notable contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. As a result, property managers are now required to play a pivotal role in the nation’s environmental objectives. Comprehending new benchmarking laws and embedding them into daily operations is essential for compliance, tenant satisfaction, and the long-term success of property management firms.

Understanding Benchmarking Laws 

Benchmarking laws operate on the premise of ‘what gets measured gets managed.’ These regulations necessitate the systematic tracking and reporting of a building’s energy and water usage, as well as waste production and other relevant environmental metrics. By mandating owners to annually submit this data, the laws aim to shed light on a building’s efficiency levels, inspire improvements, and catalyze the advancement of sustainable practices across the industry. The transparency driven by these regulations equips property managers with the insights needed to enact change and makes it easier for stakeholders to recognize the value of energy efficiency. 

The Emergence of New Benchmarking Laws 

The United States has seen a surge in the implementation of benchmarking laws as part of its strategy to tackle the urgent challenges of environmental sustainability head-on. With buildings accounting for nearly 40% of the nation’s energy consumption, the real estate sector presents a prime opportunity for impactful energy reduction initiatives. These laws reflect a broader trend toward enhanced corporate environmental accountability, demonstrating the government’s commitment to a sustainable future through progressive policy-making. 

Key New Benchmarking Laws Property Managers Can’t Ignore 

New York City’s pioneering Local Law 97 and California’s comprehensive AB 802 have set the stage for a host of similar regulations nationwide. In San Francisco, the Existing Commercial Buildings Energy Performance Ordinance stipulates not just annual benchmarking but also requires energy audits every five years, encouraging building owners to continually assess and upgrade their energy practices.  

San Jose’s Building Performance Ordinance similarly mandates energy and water benchmarking, with an emphasis on transparency and public reporting, so residents and businesses can make informed decisions about the buildings they inhabit. 

Denver has introduced the Energize Denver Ordinance, which, aside from benchmarking energy use, sets ambitious targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, pushing property managers to invest in sustainability. 

Washington D.C.’s Clean Energy DC Omnibus Act is another cog in the wheel of nationwide efforts, mandating benchmarks as part of a comprehensive plan to cut carbon emissions in half by 2032. 

These laws underscore a nation-wide initiative, but they are merely the tip of the iceberg. Cities such as Seattle, Austin, and Boston have also enacted their own sets of regulations, creating a diverse tapestry of benchmarks that property managers must understand and adhere to. 

Impact of New Benchmarking Laws on Property Management 

The proliferation of benchmarking laws across the country means that the traditional role of the property manager is evolving. Compliance with these laws goes beyond avoiding fines and penalties—it affects how property managers strategize for the long-term maintenance and enhancement of their buildings. It drives investment in smarter, more efficient technologies and renovations that ultimately lead to a reduction in operating costs. 

However, the specter of non-compliance looms large, with consequences such as financial penalties, strained tenant relationships, and a tarnished reputation as socially irresponsible entities. The benefits of compliance, on the other hand, include reduced utility bills, potential government incentives, enhanced asset values, and a stronger appeal to an increasingly environmentally conscious tenant base. 

How Property Managers Can Adapt to New Benchmarking Laws 

Adapting to new benchmarking Laws regulations is not just about responding to legal requirements—it also represents a strategic opportunity to innovate and improve operations. Property managers can leverage the power of technology through intelligent energy management systems that facilitate continuous monitoring and seamless reporting. Establishing partnerships with energy consultants and auditors can lead to a deeper understanding of where buildings stand and what steps are necessary to enhance efficiency and comply with regulations. 

Education is another critical component. Property managers must stay current with local and national environmental laws and best practices, perhaps by attending industry conferences, participating in webinars, and engaging with professional networks. Proactive communication with tenants about the benefits of compliance can also foster a collaborative environment where sustainability is a shared goal. 


The landscape of property management in the United States is being reshaped by new benchmarking laws that are integral to the country’s push for environmental sustainability. For property managers, these laws are not mere hurdles but opportunities to demonstrate leadership in energy efficiency and sustainable building management. As these regulations become more embedded in the industry, property managers who embrace the changes and take the initiative to exceed compliance will not only contribute to a greener world but also position their properties for success in an era that values environmental consciousness. The onward march of benchmarking regulations is inexorable, and the future belongs to those property managers who are prepared, informed, and ready to act. 

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