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  • Archive for August, 2013

    Aug 19

    PREPARED FOR CALGREEN UPDATES?

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    The newest updates to the state Green Building Code, better known as “CALGreen,”  will be effective on January 1, 2014.  Are you prepared?  Even if you are, here is a very informative article to remind you of the many rapid change in the California Codes from our friends at GlobeSt.com.

    Aug 19

    ENERGY EFFICIENCY PROGRAM FOR EXISTING BUILDINGS ACTION PLAN

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    The next major step in the AB 758 Regulatory Process is underway and you have an opportunity to provide input and guide California policy that will have an impact on your business.  This is the issue our industry has been working on for several years now, in collaboration with the Energy Commission, green energy groups, and other stakeholders – it’s a regulatory plan that is being written to tackle energy efficiency in existing commercial buildings.

    Once the “draft action plan” is finalized, the strategies – both voluntary and mandatory – will be translated into regulatory language and moved forward for adoption.  So it is very important to assure that what is contained in the final document make sense from both a technological and economic standpoint.  We also want to make sure that “red-tape” is kept to a minimum so unnecessary paperwork is not required.

    Here is the plan:  Draft Action Plan for the Comprehensive Energy Efficiency Program for Existing Buildings

    Again, we hope that this can be reviewed by some of your energy experts.  However, we really need this to also be reviewed by people involved in leasing and real estate transactional issues.  Energy efficiency strategies are important, but so are the “triggers” used by the state to enforce any mandates.  Provide any feedback you may have by replying to this email or talking with your local association leadership.  Click here for the Comprehensive Energy Efficiency Program for Existing Buildings – Documents and Notices.

    Aug 19

    LEARN HOW TO USE ENERGY STAR

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    As of September 1 of this year, California’s mandatory benchmarking law will require that you use ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager to benchmark your building and disclose that information during certain transactions (see story below for more details).  If you have not already done so, now is the time for someone from your company to learn how to use this important tool.  Here are details from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on the newly upgraded tool and seminars on how to use it:

    On July 17, EPA will release the upgraded Portfolio Manager tool, providing users with a new interface, streamlined functionality, and improved usability.  To get you up to speed on the new tool, they are offering a number of trainings, as well as ‘office hours,’ during the month of July.

    For more detail and links to register and for the latest print training resources to get you prepared for the launch, click here.

    Aug 19

    AB 1103 IMPLEMENTATION WEBINAR

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    In order to help members better understand the policy issues related to the implementation of the AB 1103 Mandatory Benchmarking and Disclosure Law, we will be hosting a webinar with a representative from the California Energy Commission who will provide details about requirements of the law, and with a member from our industry who is already putting policies into place that will comply.

    In order to participate in the webinar, please pre-register by following the link below – space is limited and due to high demand we expect this webinar to hit capacity:

    AB 1103 – CA Mandatory Benchmarking Implementation Webinar

    Thursday, September 5, 2:00 p.m.

    Presenters include:

    Matthew Hargrove, Sr. VP Government Relations, CBPA;

    Joe Loyer, Mechanical Engineer, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Division with the California Energy Commission;

    Zach Brown, Sustainability Manager, CBRE | Asset Services Group

    Click here to register.

    We hope you can participate in this informative session.

    The Energy Commission has released a FAQ to help with some basic questions regarding how to comply with the law.  Click here to see the AB 1103 FAQ.

    We want to thank staff at the Energy Commission for working with our industry to address issues and resolve concerns throughout this process.  We will continue to work with them as they move forward and are implemented.

    Aug 19

    AB 1103 MANDATORY BENCHMARKING DELAYED UNTIL 2014

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    The Nonresidential Building Energy Use Disclosure Program (AB 1103) was officially set to start on  September 1, 2014, for buildings of 50,000 s.f. or more, however, the California Energy Commission has announced that it is delaying implementation of the program until January 1, 2014, due to ongoing issues coordinating implementation with the federal ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool.

    Click here to see the official notice regarding delay of implementation.

    Even with this delay, we recommend that our members continue to prepare for implementation, including working through internal processes, lease language, setting up portfolio manager accounts, and going through training with ENERGY STAR (see below for opportunities).

    The law requires that anytime you finance, sell, or lease a whole building, you are required to run the ENERGY STAR numbers and provide that information to the other party in the transaction as well as the Energy Commission.

    The effective date of the regulations is now January 1, 2014, for buildings more than 10,000 square feet and up.

    In addition to providing information to the counterparties of the transaction there are also reporting requirements you must follow to provide information to the Energy Commission. The required documentation and reports should be printed from each building’s ENERGY STAR account and submitted to authorized counterparties of the transaction.

    Aug 19

    BILL EXPANDING RESIDENTIAL RENT CONTROL OPPOSED

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    A bill that would enable price controls on new residential rental units will be heard in the final weeks of the Legislative Session.  AB 1229 (Atkins; D-San Diego) allows local governments to mandate “inclusionary housing” requirements on private property owners and force them to set aside a certain percentage of new housing for low-income rental units.  The bill also restricts rental rates and operational costs, and does not require any type of public offsets for providing the housing.  The bill is intended to abrogate the Palmer v. City of Los Angeles decision, which upheld an important provision of the long-standing Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act exempting newly constructed rental units from price controls.

    Rental housing is desperately needed. At a time when rental housing is scarce, it makes no sense to discourage the building of new rental units, as AB 1229 does. The bill would make it a virtual certainty that local jurisdictions with rent control ordinances would expand such regulatory provisions to include new construction, discouraging the development of rental housing, at a time when it is most needed.

    The Legislature has twice rejected similar bills and expressed opposition to expanding rent control to new construction. However, with the new partisan makeup of Legislature this policy may have a better chance of success.  We are also concerned that if passed, this bill would directly lead to similar constraints placed on commercial projects.

    We hope you will call you call your Senator and urge them to vote against this bill.  Click here to find your legislator.

    Aug 19

    DOCUMENT RECORDING FEE BILL OPPOSED

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Senate Bill 391 (Desaulnier; D-Concord), a bill that will impose a $75 fee for recording real-property documents as a way to generate funds for affordable housing, passed two Assembly committees this week on party line votes.  Although we agree with the author about the importance of affordable housing in California, we do not believe that charging such an outrageously large fee for every single document our industry records is fair, equitable, or reasonable. There is no “nexus” between recording documents and funding an affordable housing program – this is a tax, pure and simple – and should require a 2/3 vote of the Legislature.  By stretching the definition of a fee, it makes the political process much easier for proponents.

    SB 391 is a regressive tax.  Anyone recording a real-estate document must pay the fee regardless of financial situation – any homeowner trying to get a re-finance; any small business owner recording a lien; any property owner recording property improvement or lease documents. All will pay $75 for each document.

    We continue to oppose this bill. If you want more information or want to find out how you can get involved, please reply to this email.

    Aug 19

    CEQA BILL MOVES FORWARD

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Senate Bill 731, Pro Tem Steinberg’s vehicle for CEQA reform, was heard in the Assembly Local Government committee on Wednesday.  During the hearing, Senator Steinberg directly addressed the CEQA Working Group coalition’s assertions that his bill didn’t go far enough and, in fact, that the bill is a step backward.  CBPA is an active member of the Working Group, representing the commercial, industrial, and retail real estate industry.

    While Senator Steinberg declared a willingness to amend his bill further, he also stated he is only willing to focus on CEQA improvements/streamlining for infill areas. CBPA and members of the CEQA Working Group will continue to lobby Senator Steinberg and other members of the legislature in an effort to accomplish CEQA reform that is as comprehensive and inclusive as possible.

    It is clear the final weeks will be busy as we seek to negotiate some acceptable compromise. Please visit www.CEQAWorkingGroup.com for information.

    Aug 19

    FINAL LEGISLATIVE WEEKS WILL BE BUSY

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    As anyone who pays attention to Legislative proceedings can attest, many major decisions on policy are made towards the end of the process.  Even though most bills have been through a minimum of two policy committees so far, final language is yet to be decided on.  Some bills remain “a work in progress” until the very final hours of the Session.

    Some of the major issues impacting commercial real estate that are yet to be resolved include: post-Redevelopment, CEQA Modernization, changes in the scheduled 2014 water bond, new fees on recorded real estate documents, mandatory water submeters for residential properties, energy policy, and more.  There are also rumors that several bills that were killed earlier in the session will be making a comeback.

    Aug 19

    PREPARED FOR CALGREEN UPDATES?

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    The newest updates to the state Green Building Code, better known as “CALGreen,”  will be effective on January 1, 2014.  Are you prepared?  Even if you are, here is a very informative article to remind you of the many rapid changes in the California Codes from our friends at GlobeSt.com.

    Aug 19

    ENERGY EFFICIENCY PROGRAM FOR EXISTING BUILDINGS ACTION PLAN

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    The next major step in the AB 758 Regulatory Process is underway and you have an opportunity to provide input and guide California policy that will have an impact on your business.  This is the issue our industry has been working on for several years now, in collaboration with the Energy Commission, green energy groups, and other stakeholders – it’s a regulatory plan that is being written to tackle energy efficiency in existing commercial buildings.

    Once the “draft action plan” is finalized, the strategies – both voluntary and mandatory – will be translated into regulatory language and moved forward for adoption.  Thus it is very important to assure that what is contained in the final document makes sense from both a technological and economic standpoint.  We also want to make sure that “red-tape” is kept to a minimum so unnecessary paperwork is not required.

    Here is the plan:  Draft Action Plan for the Comprehensive Energy Efficiency Program for Existing Buildings

    Again, we hope that this can be reviewed by some of your energy experts.  However, we really need this to also be reviewed by people involved in leasing and real estate transactional issues.  Energy efficiency strategies are important, but so are the “triggers” used by the state to enforce any mandates.  Provide any feedback you may have by replying to this email or talking with your local association leadership.  Click here for the Comprehensive Energy Efficiency Program for Existing Buildings – Documents and Notices.

    Aug 19

    LEARN HOW TO USE ENERGY STAR

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    As of September 1 of this year, California’s mandatory benchmarking law will require that you use ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager to benchmark your building and disclose that information during certain transactions (see story below for more details).  If you have not already done so, now is the time for someone from your company to learn how to use this important tool.  Here are details from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on the newly upgraded tool and seminars on how to use it:

    On July 17, EPA will release the upgraded Portfolio Manager tool, providing users with a new interface, streamlined functionality, and improved usability.  To get you up to speed on the new tool, they are offering a number of trainings, as well as ‘office hours,’ during the month of July.

    For more detail and links to register and for the latest print training resources to get you prepared for the launch, click here.