Energy use is the single largest controllable cost in building operations, and tracking energy performance is the critical first step. To manage, one must measure. The Existing Commercial Buildings Task Force recommended that all building owners and managers in San Francisco have a benchmark for their facility's energy performance, and an actionable proposal prepared by a professional laying out the cost-effective opportunities to save money by managing energy use.

Energy efficiency helps San Francisco's economy by reducing operating costs, supporting jobs developing and deploying innovative technologies, conserving resources, and enhancing electricity reliability. By squeezing waste out of occupancy costs and making performance public, potential tenants know that much of the city's building stock is among the most efficient in the world, and where cost-effective investments can be targeted.

Reducing energy use also reduces greenhouse gas emissions, which helps reduce the risks that climate change poses to coastal real estate and city infrastructure.  The operation, construction, and demolition of buildings accounts for about half of San Francisco’s greenhouse gas emissions.  

Energy benchmarking encourages improvement in energy management, empowering owners, managers, operators, and occupants with key information to control utility costs.