Construction + Economy, Energy + Environment

Electrification Impacts On Lighting, Part 7: State & Municipal Fines

Electrification Impacts On Lighting, Part 7: State & Municipal Fines

At LightFair, I was part of a panel presenting the impacts of electrification on the lighting industry. This is the final article, Part 7, of the series.

Dozens of states and municipalities have begun adopting energy benchmarking regulations that include fines to building owners who fail to meet either emissions or energy efficiency requirements. New York City, San Francisco, Washington, DC, Boston, and St. Louis are already implementing non-compliance fines.

Roughly 30 municipalities are in the process of phasing in benchmarks for commercial building emissions or efficiency, including Atlanta, Denver, Chicago, LA, Miami, and Houston. The building owners receive the fines, but it’s unclear if they’ll be passed to tenants as expenses. If they’re passed on to tenants, this could affect any business with a commercial building lease.

Below is a chart that lists municipal benchmarking programs around the U.S., annual reporting deadlines, and fine amounts. All of these state and municipal benchmark program fines create an additional new financial pressure to implement deeper energy efficiency retrofits, including lighting and advanced controls.

Part 1, about rapidly changing building and energy codes, can be found here.

Part 2, about new electrification products sold in the lighting industry, such as EV chargers and e-bikes, can be found here.

Part 3, about the drivers of deeper energy efficiency retrofits, can be found here.

Part 4, about material & metal shortages, can be found here.

Part 5, about DC fixtures, can be found here.

Part 6, about advanced lighting controls, can be found here.


  • Derek Cowburn June 26, 2023, 3:20 AM

    Great article. Thank you for the research on this. I’m not a fan of fines and prefer that people CHOOSE to deploy energy savings. I guess the intention of the regulations is to force some attention to what others clearly have accomplished with regard to efficiency. That said, the proof is in the final cost and in the meter reading each month. Choose products that give you the best chance for success.

  • David Shiller June 26, 2023, 11:27 AM

    Thank you for your thoughtful comments, Derek. Always appreciated.


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