Monday, August 20, 2012

BOMA California Legislative Update - ADA Reform, Loan Program for Energy Efficiency, Zero Net Energy

BOMA San Francisco Members:

Please take a moment to review the following update from our advocates at BOMA California.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Reform Effort – SB 1186 

This year’s ADA reform effort – SB 1186 continues to move forward.  The bill passed through the Assembly Appropriations Committee this week with a unanimous vote. On behalf of the commercial real estate industry, the California Business Properties Association (BOMA California's parent organization) has been deeply involved with this effort and has helped bring about a consensus measure to end demand letters and find a way around technical issues versus accessibility issues. This bill provides the best chance we have had in years to reduce the number of frivolous 'drive-by' ADA lawsuits.

Loan Program for Energy Efficiency – SB 1130 

Unfortunately, a bill BOMA California was very supportive of,  SB 1130, which would have provided low cost loans for energy efficiency loans, was held in Senate Appropriations. BOMA has been working with the administration, treasurer, and/or controller over the past three years to design a program that uses the bonding ability of the state to provide an option for property owners to tap into low cost loans for energy efficiency. This year, unfortunately, the required funds needed to seed the program are not available from the state. BOMA California's advocates will assess the bill’s likelihood for passage through the next legislative session.

California Energy Commission Withdraws Zero Net Energy Proposal 

Due to ongoing concerns expressed by a number of groups, the California Energy Commission has again withdrawn a recent proposal to adopt Zero Net Energy by way of a third tier to the state’s California Green Building Standards (CalGreen).

While voluntary at the state level, the CalGreen tiers are routinely adopted as mandatory by local cities and counties. A zero net energy building is one which produces its entire annual energy needs from on-site sources (e.g., solar photovoltaic). A recent study sponsored by industry showed that many commercial buildings – even the most energy efficient – simply do not have enough roof space to sustain the amount of PV that would be needed to meet this requirement.

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