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California Nonresidential Building Owners Must Disclose Energy Usage

Linda Hardesty

San Francisco skylineOn September 1, owners of non-residential buildings 50,000 square feet or greater will be required to disclose energy usage when they sell their properties. California Assembly Bill 1103 has now been codified into regulations, which will require disclosure of the building’s most recent 12 months of energy usage prior to any sale, lease or financing of the entire building.

For energy managers, this means they should start preparing for the possibility of a transfer that will necessitate a Statement of Energy Performance.

The regulations require California electric and gas utilities to maintain records of the energy usage on all nonresidential buildings, and that data is to be kept in a format that can be uploaded to the EPA’s Portfolio Manager for benchmarking by building owners. Building owners must request the information from their utilities and use Portfolio Manager to keep track of the data.

The requirement to benchmark and disclose will expand on a staggered basis as follows:

  • owners of nonresidential buildings with a total gross floor area of more than 10,000 square feet – January 1, 2014.
  • owners of nonresidential buildings with a total gross floor area of more than 5,000 square feet – July 1, 2014.

The regulations do not apply to multifamily buildings or the partial sale, lease or financing of nonresidential buildings. The Statement of Energy Performance is valid for 120 days following its generation.

Craig Isakow, director of commercial solutions with WegoWise, said some building owners are already hiring the company to handle the benchmarking requirements for them. WegoWise’s software can interface with the utilities’ data and the EPA’s Portfolio Manager software. Isakow said the law will initially affect about 13,000 buildings in September.

“You wouldn’t want to trace tenant data in the midst of a transaction,” said Isakow. “I don’t want to be the energy manager who gets called at the last minute with ‘what’s our Energy Star score?’”

Photo credit: naotakem’s Flickr photostream



One comment on “California Nonresidential Building Owners Must Disclose Energy Usage

  1. Great move by CA to try and accelerate a move in the commercial sector to improve building performance (or at least incentivise agents, owners and occupiers to think about the way buildings perform).

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