A bill supported by NAIOP Arizona and a coalition of 10 other industry groups prohibiting a municipality from requiring an owner, operator or tenant of a business, commercial building or multifamily property from measuring and reporting energy usage and consumption or face a fine was signed by Gov. Doug Ducey.
SB 1241, sponsored by Sen. Nancy Barto, R-Phoenix, and amended by Rep. Warren Petersen, R-Gilbert, pre-empts cities from enacting this type of mandatory reporting. Ducey signed the bill on Monday.
“These types of costly energy reporting ordinances are hard to comply with as they force property owners to collect information for dozens of tenants who view this type of information as private or proprietary,” said Tim Lawless, President of NAIOP Arizona.
Lawless said this information also can be used by interest groups to “shame” building owners, leading to a movement to mandate expensive retro-fit improvements for facilities that can hold up the sale of buildings. “These proposals have a chilling effect on economic development,” Lawless said.
In January, the City of Phoenix considered a draft ordinance that would mandate owners of buildings more than 50,000 square feet report their energy usage on a government website or face a Class 1 misdemeanor and pay a fine of not less than a $500 for every instance there is a violation.
According to the draft, the ordinance would have affected 1,398 buildings and would have been similar to energy reporting in Austin, Boston, Chicago, Washington D.C., New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Seattle.
“We do not have a problem with a voluntary energy reporting system,” Lawless said. “Some of our members who specialize in LEED would welcome that. In short, the market should dictate energy efficiency and the market is already going in that direction as younger professionals prefer these working environments.”