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D.C. Will Be First to Require Disclosure Of Buildings' Energy Efficiency Rating

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By Jonathan Wilson

D.C. will soon set a national precedent by requiring the owners of large commercial buildings to publicly disclose the energy efficiency ratings of their properties.

At the start of 2010 -- owners of buildings 200,000 square feet or larger -- will have to start keeping track of the buildings energy efficiency.

Eventually, the buildings will receive an Energy Star rating, not unlike the ones found on household appliances -- by January of 2012, those ratings will be available to anyone who wants to see them.

Kathy Barnes, with the D.C. based property-development firm Akridge, says the idea is that commercial tenants need the information -- because they often end up paying energy bills themselves.

"It's really gonna change the way that we think -- and it's going to make it something that we think about every day -- tenants and owners," says Barnes. "At the end of the day it's about dollars."

California already requires many building owners to keep track of energy efficiency -- but the ratings only have to be shared to those buying, leasing or financing a building. D.C. will be the first to require full disclosure of the ratings.

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