California Building Energy Benchmarking Program

CA Building Energy Benchmarking Program passed into law in October 2015 following the success of Assembly Bill 802 in California. The Building Energy Benchmarking Program is California’s new program requiring building owners to track and report their energy usage with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Mandatory reporting began in 2018 for buildings with no residential utility accounts and more than 50,000 square feet of gross floor area. For buildings with 17 or more residential utility accounts and more than 50,000 square feet of total floor area, reporting is due by June 1st annually, beginning in 2019.

Why Benchmark?

Benchmarking provides a baseline understanding of a building’s energy use and may lead a building owner to perform further information gathering (such as an audit) that can help prioritize building improvements and sustainability initiatives.  Benchmarking requires combining energy bills with essential physical and operational characteristics of a building (such as size, use type, and hours of operation). This information generates a score to track building performance over time and compare performance against that of peer buildings and submit their information to the California Energy Commission.

Have You Reported Yet?

The deadline is June 1st, 2018, for commercial buildings greater than 50,000 sq ft and June 1st, 2019, for buildings with 17 or more residential utility accounts. A failure to report by the deadline could result in fines. The Commission has the authority to institute civil penalties of up to $2,000 for non-compliance.

What Happens To Collected Data?

Beginning in the second year for each group, the Energy Commission will disclose selected information for reported buildings on a public website. This will allow current and prospective building owners and tenants to gain a better understanding of the buildings in which they live and work and help current and potential building owners and occupants make better-informed decisions regarding purchasing, leasing, maintenance, and upgrades.

The following metrics or derivatives may be made publicly available:

  • Building address, including county, latitude, and longitude
  • Year built
  • Gross floor area and property floor area (buildings and parking)
  • Property or building name, if any
  • Open “comments” field for the building owner or owner’s agent to provide
    additional information about the building
  • Percentage of space occupied (occupancy) and the number of occupants
  • Number of buildings (if served by one standard energy meter without sub-metering)
  • Monthly and annual site and source energy used by energy type
  • Monthly and annual weather-normalized site and source energy use intensity
  • Monthly and annual peak electricity demand
  • Total greenhouse gas emissions

Need Help?

The team of energy specialists at Vervantis are on hand to support the collection, validation, and submission of energy data. Using our library of energy use by industry type, we can cross-reference client data to ensure reporting is as accurate as possible and continually track usage over time flagging anomalies to buildings owners in advance of the next reporting period. For more information on requirements and exemptions, visit the California Energy Commission website, or contact one of our team on (888) 988-5474.