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For Owners of Commercial and Multi-Unit Residential Buildings in California

Assembly Bill (AB) 802, is the California energy benchmarking program that became effective in 2016. AB 802 applies to both commercial and multi-family buildings over 50,000 square feet. The energy benchmark report is due annually on June 1st.

A building meeting any of the following conditions is exempt from the reporting requirement:

  • The building did not have a certificate of occupancy or temporary certificate of occupancy during the calendar year for which reporting to the Energy Commission is required.
  • The building is scheduled to be demolished one year or less from the reporting date.
  • The building is covered by a local building energy-use benchmarking program listed on the Energy Commission website.

An Energy Benchmark compares the energy-use "intensity" (EUI) of a building (measured in energy used per square foot) against similar-use buildings (retail, warehouse, office, etc.), adjusted for intensity-of-use (hours of operation, number of employees, etc.) and weather zone.

The EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager allows you to compare your building’s energy performance to other similar-use buildings in a national database. This may provide your building with a percentile ranking. For example, a score of 75 means that your building is more energy efficient than 74% of the buildings in the national database.

Energy benchmarking also allows you to track the energy performance of your building over time.

A building’s ENERGY STAR score is a metric on a 1-100 scale that demonstrates how efficient a building is compared to similar buildings. A score of 50 indicates average energy performance. Buildings with a score of 75 or better are in the top 25% of performers and can apply for the ENERGY STAR certification. Getting an ENERGY STAR certification or award gives the building owner recognition for its energy and water efficiency, providing positive publicity and a competitive edge in the marketplace.

Energy use from all energy meters serving the building is to be included. This includes electricity, gas and steam consumption from the utility as well as fuel delivered and energy generated on-site from wind and solar sources.

Owners with "disclosable" buildings in cities or counties that have benchmark reporting requirements will not have separate reporting requirements for the State. The intent is that building owners in these jurisdictions need report only to the local jurisdiction, and that data collection mechanisms will be streamlined and integrated between state and local systems.

If the sum of the buildings sharing a common meter exceed 50,000 square feet, then AB 802 applies.

If the buildings have separate meters, with no one building (or group of buildings) exceeding 50,000 square feet, then AB 802 does not apply.

To improve the building’s score, the owner needs to improve the energy efficiency of the building. This means lowering energy consumption, not adding locally generated energy from wind or solar. Plus, it is more cost-effective to reduce consumption than to add locally generated energy.

There are many ways to reduce energy consumption. To thoroughly evaluate all options an energy audit of your building is recommended. However, some simple steps can be taken without conducting an energy audit. Call us at 415-937-5046 for our list of no-cost and low-cost Energy Efficiency Measures.

This remains to be determined. Some buyers may prefer to purchase a building that is already operating at peak energy efficiency. Others may prefer to purchase a building "as is", at a lower cost, and make energy efficiency improvements to reduce operating costs and increase the value of the building. (Given the same "Cap" rate.)

Besides complying with the ordinance, conducting an energy benchmark measures the performance of your building and lets you know how efficient or inefficient it may be.

On average, a U.S. office building spends nearly 29 percent of its operating expenses on utilities, and most of this expenditure goes toward electricity and natural gas. For larger buildings, this can be a substantial sum of money. Energy efficiency improvements reduce these operating costs substantially.

Some energy reduction can occur with little or no cost to you. Others often have a very short payback (some in less than a year). And, there may be rebates and incentives from your utility for certain energy-saving investments. A simple energy audit can reveal the opportunities available.

The adage, "You can’t manage what you don’t measure." applies. Measure and track the energy efficiency of your building so that you can take appropriate action if energy costs are above average or are trending upward for no apparent reason.

Yes. The proposed regulations require owners of disclosable buildings, including those owned by local government entities, to benchmark and disclose their buildings annually. 
This includes local schools and school district facilities.

The proposed regulation provides for the Energy Commission to impose a civil penalty for violation of the regulations by a building owner.

The CEC will notify the offending party of the violation and provide 30 days to correct the violation. If owners still fail to comply they’ll be subject to a civil penalty between $500 and $2,000 for each day the violation existed and continues to exist.

There is an established procedure in the event this happens.

For buildings with fewer than three tenants’ Utility Accounts, where a tenant has not granted permission, the building owner or owner’s agent shall:

  • Attest that permission was not received from all utilities customers.
  • Share the building information (not energy use data) with the Energy Commission’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager account.

Yes. For a building with fewer than three utility accounts, one of which belongs to the Building Owner where the tenant has consented to the provision of data to facilitate disclosure, the building owner must do one of the following:

  • Include building owner’s own energy-use data
  • File a request for determination by the Energy Commission Executive Director that the disclosure of the building owner’s energy use data would result in release of proprietary information which can be characterized as a trade secret.
  • Share the building information (not energy use data) with the Energy Commission’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager account.

About 40% of total U.S. energy consumption was consumed in residential and commercial buildings. California’s usage pattern is no exception. The California legislature’s goal is to minimize the energy used by buildings.

AB802 imposes certain requirements on the Public Utilities Commission and the California Energy Commission to assess and forecast all aspect of energy industry needs and to use these assessments and forecasts to develop and valuate energy policies that "conserve resources, protect the environment, ensure energy reliability, enhance the state’s economy and protect public health and safety."

To comply with the above, the California Energy Commission has created an energy benchmarking and disclosure program for buildings greater than 50,000 square feet.

California’s SB-350, the Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015, requires the state to double statewide energy efficiency savings in electricity and natural gas end uses by 2030.

AB 802 supports this mission by authorizing the California Energy Commission to create a building energy-use benchmarking and disclosure program. In addition, AB 802 expands the CEC’s data collection authority to improve the development and evaluation of policy and programs, and the state’s energy infrastructure planning efforts.

The specific benefit anticipated from AB 802 is improved building energy efficiency statewide, resulting in less demand for energy, thus reducing the environmental impact of operating buildings, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The energy benchmark information enables building owners to make informed decisions regarding whether and how to make building improvements. Plus, public disclosure of building‐level performance information provides an incentive for building owners to improve their buildings, and provides a valuable tool to help prospective building owners and tenants understand more fully a building they are considering purchasing or renting.