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San Francisco’s Energy Benchmarking Law Requires an Audit

October 25, 2013 By Linda Hardesty

Energy Manage EcovaIn San Francisco, building owners of commercial properties over 10,000 square feet must not only benchmark and report their energy usage, they must also submit an energy audit.

San Francisco’s Existing Commercial Buildings Energy Performance Ordinance was adopted in 2011 and is being phased-in over three years. For existing nonresidential buildings with at least 10,000 square feet of heated or cooled space, the ordinance requires:

  1. Benchmarking: Annually summarizing the energy used by the entire building reported through the EPA’s Portfolio Manager.
  2. Transparency: Annually sharing an overview of energy benchmarking results with tenants and the City; and the information will be made available to the public.
  3. Auditing: Submitting an energy efficiency audit once every 5 years identifying specific cost-effective measures that would save energy.

To meet the energy audit requirement, building owners must submit a Confirmation of Energy Audit from a qualified energy auditor to the San Francisco Department of Environment. San Francisco’s requirement is varied depending on such factors as building size, age and Energy Star certification.

Ecova is offering energy audits to help San Francisco building owners comply. Ecova will then analyze actual consumption and spend information and identify opportunities to improve efficiencies and reduce costs portfolio-wide.

Recently, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) released its second annual Energy Benchmarking Report, which details energy usage for 446 municipal buildings – including, for the first time, over 130 school district facilities.

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