The Board of Supervisors' Land Use Committee met for the second time this month on Monday, December 13, 2010 to discuss the details of the Existing Commercial Buildings Energy Performance ordinance.
Please click here to read the Ordinance and here for the Legislative Digest.
This ordinance, the most comprehensive of any city in the nation, will require all commercial buildings in San Francisco to be benchmarked and audited within THREE years, and to report that information to the San Francisco Department of the Environment. We had originally worked out a compromise of 5 years for both the initial benchmarking/audit and a 5 years recertification requirement for same. That was changed to three years for the initial audit, with the recertification/audit update requirement staying at 5 years. The 18 months to begin compliance was also reduced to 12 months. Both of these amendments were suggested by Board of Supervisors President, David Chiu. Chiu has now added his name to the Mayor's as a co-sponsor of the legislation.
The Department of the Environment presented a scenario for ramping up the benchmarking/audit requirement on existing buildings within a three year period, although they insisted that they needed to select buildings via a lottery rather than start with the largest properties and work downward. Department representatives also stated that there were approximately 630 commercial buildings in SF over 50,000 square feet, and over 2,500 between 10,000 - 50,000 square feet in size. This legislation will not cover buildings smaller than 10,000 square feet.
- Increased the minimum square footage of buildings required to comply from 5,000 to 10,000 sq. ft. (Section 2002, line 8);
- As described in Section 2004(a), for buildings submitting their benchmarking data for the first time, a window of time was added between when they are required to submit their data and when the data is made public. This will allow some time for the facility to review and ensure the accuracy of the data before it is posted;
- Section 2006 was added to clarify compliance requirements for municipal buildings;
- The benchmarking requirements are much the same as those for commercial buildings, the primary exception being allowing the City to use a benchmarking tool other than Energy Star Portfolio Manager if it deems another tool to be more relevant for municipal buildings, as long as it provides the same type of data (Portfolio Manager is currently quite limited in the types of buildings it has categories for, and does not include many municipal building types, ie fire stations, etc.).
- However, because the City owns over 1,000 buildings and it would be impractical to expect the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) to conduct energy audits in all of those buildings in the timeline required in Section 2004(b), this section allows the SFPUC to elect to develop a compliance plan, to be submitted by July 1, 2011, to develop protocols and a compliance timeline for conducting energy audits in municipal buildings. The expectation is that the SFPUC will perform 20-30 municipal energy audits per year.
- An exception was added for unoccupied buildings (Section 2008(c)(2));
- Administrative fines were revised as described in Section 2009(b).