The Nonresidential Building Energy Use Disclosure Program, known as AB 1103, has ended as of January 1, 2016. This program required building owners to disclose the previous 12 months of building energy use prior to sale or lease. It was intended to be a kind of "nutrition label" on buildings, so that prospective buyers/tenants can compare energy efficiency between facilities. Energy data was uploaded to the EPA Energy Star Portfolio Manager, which generated the energy use disclosure statement.
Ecotype provided quite a few energy use disclosure statements for our clients over the past year. I found that this program was largely meaningless, because it did not adequately account for operational characteristics and process loads, neither of which have anything to do with the energy efficiency of a building. It was also not suitable for speculative commercial development, because without historic data, the disclosed energy use could only be based on assumptions.
For multi-tenant buildings in which each tenant space is separately metered, AB 1103 required the owner to track down and aggregate energy use from each of their tenants. This was a logistical nightmare, considering that a tenant has no legal obligation to report energy use to the owner, unless specifically required in the lease agreement.
Last year, the California Assembly passed AB 802 to improve and expand upon the AB 1103 program. This new legislation shifts the burden of reporting from building owners to utility companies. It includes the following provisions:
- Utility companies (rather than owners, tenants, and operators) will be required to provide building energy use data to the owner's Energy Star Portfolio Manager.
- Multi-tenant multi-metered building energy data will automatically be aggregated into whole-building data, and individual tenant energy use will not be disclosed.
- Utilities must provide building owners with the previous 12 months of energy use data upon request.
- Energy use disclosure will not be required upon sale or lease of a building. However, energy use data will be made available to the California Energy Commission, the public, and market participants.
This new legislation is scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2017. In the meantime, The Energy Commission will be holding a series of workshops to determine exactly how implementation will occur. Building owners should be particularly interested in the nature of public disclosure of energy use.
The CEC has set up a web page for the public to stay on top of workshop notices, agendas, and opportunities for comment. In addition, we will be keeping up-to-date on the CEC's progress, and we will present any relevant updates and concerns on this blog.