City of Madison Launches the First Year of the Building Energy Savings Program (BESP)


The City of Madison has launched the first year of the new Building Energy Savings Program (BESP). The program, adopted by the Common Council in 2023, requires large commercial buildings to benchmark their energy use annually and tune up building’s energy systems every four years. The program is being phased between 2024 and 2026.

This year, owners of commercial buildings over 100,000 square feet have until September 6th to visit the new Building Owner Portal and benchmark their buildings. Building owners can now visit the City’s website to access information and resources for the program. The 2024 Covered Buildings List shows all the buildings that are required to benchmark beginning in 2024. If your building is on the list, the Building Owner portal will guide you through the benchmarking and reporting process. The Building Owner Guide provides step-by-step instructions, and a help desk is available to answer any questions. 

“The Building Energy Savings Program is a significant step toward improving the energy efficiency of Madison’s buildings,” said Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway. “We’ve provided an array of resources to help building owners and managers successfully benchmark their building’s energy use. There’s never been a better time to start measuring energy use, setting goals, and taking action to improve efficiency.”

Benchmarking and tune-ups reduce energy waste, save money, and cut carbon pollution. Buildings that consistently benchmark reduce their annual energy use by up to 10%, and tune-ups cut energy use by 12% on average. That means big savings on your energy bills. Saving energy also cuts carbon and air pollution. Currently, commercial buildings are responsible for 45% of greenhouse gas emissions in Madison. The energy savings achieved through the Building Energy Savings Program will reduce community-wide greenhouse gas emissions by more than 91,000 tons of CO2 each year. That’s the like taking nearly 18,000 cars off the road.

The City is hosting virtual training sessions that walk participants through the benchmarking and reporting process. There are multiple options available over the next six weeks, each providing the same content and information. 

Visit City of Madison’s Building Energy Savings Program webpage for more information. 

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