Energy and Water Benchmarking Ordinance

Buildings in Detroit have the highest opportunity for energy reduction.

Benchmarking is the first step to identifying that potential. 




In November of 2023, City Council unanimously passed the Benchmarking Ordinance, requiring buildings with over 25,000 square feet of space to annually report their energy and water usage to the City.

Benchmarking buildings is a critical step in sustainability. According to the 2023 Detroit Climate Strategy, they account for more than 62% of Greenhouse Gas emissions in the city of Detroit. That’s around 2/3 of emissions!

This ordinance aligns with the 2019 Detroit Sustainability Action Agenda, the 2023 Detroit Climate Strategythe 2022 MI Healthy Climate Plan, and the 2016 UN Paris Agreement. 


Tracking alone is a proven way to save energy. According to the American Cities Climate Challenge, buildings that benchmark their energy reduce their energy use by 7%.

The goal of this policy is to improve energy efficiency across building types and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Additional benefits include: 

  • Increasing energy efficiency by identifying poor building performance
  • Decreasing waste by tracking electric, gas, steam, and water usage
  • Lowering utility bills by identifying reduction potential 






Steps to Reporting


All reporting will be done through Energy Star Portfolio Manager, the EPA’s tool for benchmarking commercial buildings. Get started with Energy Star Portfolio Manager HERE or View our “How to Benchmark” page. 

Compliance to this ordinance can be done in four steps:

   1. CREATE a building profile in Energy Star Portfolio Manager

   2. ACCESS your building’s 12-month utility usage

   3. INPUT your usage into Energy Star Portfolio Manager

   4. CONNECT and share your building profile to the City of Detroit in Energy Star Portfolio Manager


Video Webinar

Watch this 11 minute Introductory Webinar for more detail on the Benchmarking Ordinance





Key Dates


Key Dates



Compliance Information

Buildings 100,000 SF or larger need to report 2023 data by October 1st, 2024. 

How to Benchmark 101

Download the Benchmarking Resource Guide for a step-by–step guide to benchmarking

Need Help Benchmarking?

Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently asked questions about benchmarking process and the ordinance


Need Additional help?
Send questions via the Benchmarking Help Desk
Reach out to: [email protected]
Virtual Office hours: Book here



City Council President
City Council Pro Tem