California has continued to lead the nation in developing energy efficiency building standards and aggressive conservation measures. A variety of regulations have been created over the last few years, some of which have started to go into full effect this year (2014).
Many of Alta’s clients have taken a strategic approach towards these regulations, proactively addressing energy use through energy benchmarking, ASHRAE Level 1 / Level 2 audits, implementing energy efficiency measures (EEM), and setting aggressive targets to reduce energy costs and improve performance across their facilities.
ALTA’s Air, Carbon, Energy and Sustainability (ACES) team have highlighted two key regulatory drivers in California’s energy efficiency market: AB 1103, and Title 24 Lighting Standards.
We also explore how businesses are affected by these regulations, and strategic responses that can help streamline compliance, save money, and ensure success.
California AB 1103 – Nonresidential Building Energy Use Disclosure Program
California’s Assembly Bill (AB) 1103 Nonresidential Building Energy Use Disclosure Program came into effect as of January 1st, 2014, and as of July 1st 2014, compliance is required for buildings with a total gross floor area of more than 5,000 square feet. The law requires energy benchmarking and disclosure for most non-residential buildings, through the use of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. Additionally, indoor environmental standards must be met for lighting and air quality.
AB 1103 mandates that a building’s energy data and previous year ENERGY STAR rating be disclosed to prospective buyers, lessees and/or financial lenders.
The disclosure documents must be prepared by the building owner, and submitted to both the buyer/lessee/lender, and the California Energy Commission CEC. Required disclosure documents include a Disclosure Summary Sheet, Statement of Energy Performance, Data Checklist, and a Facility Summary, in conjunction with the use of the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager benchmarking tool. The disclosure documents must be provided no later than 24 hours prior to execution of the sales or lease contract, or no later than the submittal of the loan application.
Title 24 Lighting Standards
In 1978, California’s legislature created the Building Energy Efficiency Program under Title 24, part 6 of the California Code of Regulations. Extensive in technical scope and specification, Title 24 building codes are continually updated, and have required a high level of building energy efficiency performance in new and renovated building structures, which has successfully resulted in California’s per capita electricity use remaining virtually flat over the last 40 years, while much of the rest of the United States continues to rise.
On July 1st, 2014, updated Title 24 Lighting Standards went into effect. Under most conditions, all non-residential buildings must now incorporate manual light dimming and on/off controls, tuning, automatic daylighting (photosensor), and demand response controls in buildings over 10,000 square feet. Use specific occupant sensing controls are required for a variety of different occupancy use cases.
In particular, during a renovation project, existing buildings must meet the new Title 24 Lighting Standards when the project affects at least 10% of existing lighting fixtures, or at least 40 fixtures are modified-in-place.
The very low threshold “building code trigger” means that most building lighting and energy retrofits will be required to meet the Title 24 standards, including minimum lighting power density specs and modern control equipment.
Title 24 compliance involves a significant number of nuanced technical requirements – all of which will require training, awareness and compliance measures on the part of equipment vendors, building contractors, and property and portfolio managers.
What These Regulations Mean for YOUBeyond compliance with the law, pursuing proactive, energy smart assessment and efficiency measures are smart steps for any property owner. ENERGY STAR benchmarking and facility-level energy auditing (ASHRAE Level 1 and Level 2) ensures that stakeholders can be fully informed of the relative performance of the building compared to the national average for similar buildings, and establishes a clear and quantitative baseline for energy costs. This is a first step towards identifying ways to reduce energy consumption.
An energy audit can reveal basic, low-cost, rapid-payback repairs, alterations, and adjustments that can substantially improve energy performance, while helping to scope out strategic building system upgrades with higher capital costs, and even greater payback potential. Furthermore, most municipal and investor owned utilities offer incentives to finance professional auditing and benchmarking services.
Title 24 compliance may require investment in new lighting equipment, but as part of a comprehensive building energy efficiency program, these improvements can pay for themselves pretty quickly. ROI on lighting retrofits can be maximized with smart controls, lighting upgrades, and performance based design, that meets budget goals of the project. Working with qualified building engineering, electrical, and lighting technology specialists is the best approach towards starting any project.
Benefits of a proactive energy efficiency plan include:
Don’t wait for energy costs to continue to creep up, or until you need to close that real estate transaction. Get in front of your energy costs. Start the process to Benchmark, Audit, Plan and Implement energy efficiency in your building today.
Let Alta Help YouAlta Environmental is perfectly positioned to address both AB 1103 and Title 24 requirements for our clients. Our team has extensive expertise with the following related services:
Contact us at (800) 777-0605.
Alta’s Air, Carbon, Energy & Sustainability (ACES) practice is a multidisciplinary, solution-based approach to solving our clients’ energy and environmental resource challenges. Our approach includes combining three critical components:
Sustainability Consulting to help identify our clients’ challenging issues.
Data Management Services to help address the diversity and complexity of technical information that informs and drives client operations.
Sustainability Engineering, to provide an integrated implementation solution in partnership with our clients and alliance channel partners.
Contact us at (800) 777-0605.