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Update on Seattle’s Building Tune-Ups Policy

In Seattle’s ongoing commitment to foster energy efficiency, the City passed a Building Tune-Ups ordinance earlier this year. The Building Tune-Ups ordinance phases in a periodic (every 5 years) tune-up requirement for commercial buildings 50,000 square feet or larger, beginning in 2018.

15918933032_3c1bbbfdd9_zSimple operational changes can yield big savings, and tune-ups are expected to generate 10-15% energy savings for a building, on average. The Tune-Up legislation is a key piece of Seattle’s Climate Action Plan, our roadmap to achieving carbon-neutrality, by helping ensure buildings don’t use energy and water wastefully. Reducing energy and water waste helps the City save resources and move toward its goals to reduce carbon pollution.

Tune-ups will optimize energy and water performance and encourage active management of Seattle’s commercial buildings. Tune-ups would identify and correct no- or low-cost improvements to building operations, focusing on measures that would pay back in 2-3 years. Alternative compliance pathways will take into account buildings that already conduct tune-ups or demonstrate high performance.

What’s Happening Now
City staff, with the help of a technical working group, are now working to develop the accompanying Director’s Rule that will further detail compliance specifications. The rule is being developed through the spring and is anticipated for adoption in late summer of 2016.

OSE is hosting a public meeting to seek input for the Director’s Rule on Wednesday, July 20th, 3-5 pm at the Smart Buildings Center, 1200 12th Avenue S. RSVP to:

For more information, including dates and locations for future Building Tune-up meetings, visit, or email

On a related note, the Energy Benchmarking Program will be hosting a series of roundtable meetings to solicit feedback from stakeholders regarding the recent benchmarking transparency policy changes. Join a meeting to explore data visualization options, consider building performance metrics to be published and review proposed benchmarking rule changes. Click here for meeting dates and registration.