California’s Building Energy Benchmarking Program is officially launched and in progress!
In 2015, the former Assembly Bill 1103 (AB 1103) was rescinded and replaced with AB 802. AB 802 requires commercial buildings over 50,000 sf in California to benchmark and disclose annual energy data, to be submitted to the California Energy Commission on an annual basis. Read on for more details and specifics of what will be required by June 1st, 2018.
Energy benchmarking is essentially a twostep process: 1. Tracking energy consumption for 12 months (electricity, natural gas, and any other fuel sources) and 2. Comparing your building’s data with like buildings to understand relative performance. The most-widely used tool to compare building usage across the US is ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, which is also the platform used to comply with local benchmarking ordinances. Benchmarking gives building management an idea of how well a building is performing, if used regularly, can also identify spikes or anomalies in energy usage, and an opportunity to pursue EnergyStar certification for high performing buildings (score over 75).
Across the US, we are seeing more prevalence of mandatory building benchmarking, as cities and states are pursuing long term carbon or energy reduction goals. The Institute of Market Transformation has a great map of where these ordinances are being used (http://www.imt.org/resources/detail/map-u.s.-building-benchmarking-policies ). Organizations partnered with local benchmarking ordinance delivery are also a great resources, such as the LA Better Buildings Challenge resources (https://www.betterbuildingsla.com/ ).
In California, we have 3 major cities that require annual benchmarking reporting, and as of June 1st this year, the statewide AB 802 takes effect for commercial buildings 50,000 sf or larger.
What does this mean?
- If your building is 50,000 sf or larger, a building is required to submit 2017 energy data to the California Energy Commission by June 1st using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager
- Exempted buildings for 2018:
- Residential buildings
- Buildings where 50% or greater is:
- Science experiments with a controlled environment
- Starting June 1st 2019, all multifamily buildings with 17 units or more will be required to submit for AB 802
- Building owners can request ‘aggregate’ or whole-building energy data from local utilities
- AB 802 requires utilities to provide this data since January 1, 2017
- This data will be used for the California Energy Commission (CEC) and California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to properly forecast California’s energy needs and long-term energy targets
- CEC will begin public disclosure compliance status and energy data for all covered buildings starting in 2019
- How does AB 802 work with local benchmarking ordinances?
- If a building is in Los Angeles, Berkeley, San Francisco, or any other municipality with a local benchmarking ordinance – you may only have to submit data once.
- Local ordinances are currently seeking CEC for approval to streamline this process. If approved, the municipality will submit data to the CEC on behalf of buildings owners, and building owners will only have to submit data to the local municipality once a year. Until this approval is finalized, owners and their vendors should anticipate submitting for both local and state compliance.
- Any additional requirements at a local level (i.e. – smaller buildings covered, water data requirements, or energy/water audits) would still be required outside of AB 802.
- Visit http://www.energy.ca.gov/benchmarking/ to see the bill text and for more information