Monday, November 9, 2015

BOMA California Advocacy Report: Benchmarking law AB 1103 Repealed; Replaced with AB 802

AB 802 is the bill that repeals AB 1103 and re-calibrates the regulatory process and addresses a number of complaints our industry has had about since AB 1103 was in the California State Legislature. Namely:
  • AB 1103 mandated ALL buildings must be benchmarked regardless of size or use; AB 802 states that buildings 50K sq/ft and above must be benchmarked and allows the California Energy Commission (CEC) some discretion to exempt certain building types and situations (i.e. the CEC could decide that long-term empty buildings or buildings scheduled for razing need not be benchmarked).
  • AB 1103 was a transaction based program – benchmarking was triggered by a sale/lease of whole building/refinance. The transaction based approach had many unintended consequences such as requiring actively managed building to be benchmarked more often than buildings that are not; put an unnecessary technical process in the middle of a real estate transaction; and required benchmarking be provided to parties that were not making management decisions (i.e. lenders); AB 802 allows the CEC to determine the best trigger for benchmarking – that could be transaction based or time certain (i.e. once every two years).
  • Under AB 1103 many building owners were unable to get tenant energy information from local utilities; AB 802 clarifies that utilities are required to provide information in an aggregated format if there are privacy concerns in multi-tenant buildings.
  • AB 1103 treated income producing properties separately by only focusing on commercial; AB 802 – with the support of the Apartment industry - includes certain multi-family housing properties.
  • AB 1103 provisions will be suspended as of the end of this year (until otherwise notified BOMA California recommends that members comply with the current provisions of AB 1103 until then). AB 802 provisions will become operative on January 1, 2017 – the CEC will write regulations to implement in 2016.
There will be no statewide energy use disclosure requirement in 2016. During this time, Energy Commission staff will engage in a public process to develop regulations and establish the reporting infrastructure for the new program. BOMA MEMBERS MUST ENGAGE IN THIS PROCESS.

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