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  • Archive for February 6th, 2015

    Feb 6

    PROPOSED CHANGES TO TITLE 24 RELEASED

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    The “45-Day Language” – official proposed changes by the California Energy Commission — to Title 24, Part 6 (CA Energy Code) was released earlier this week.   We are currently trying to analyze the proposal and prepare comments on behalf of industry.

    Here are the proposals that were released to the public earlier this week.  We need feedback on these proposals in the next few weeks.

    Here are the Notices of Proposed Action for the 2016 revisions to the Title 24 Part 6 Building Energy Efficiency Standards, and separately for the voluntary provisions in Title 24 Part 11, can be found here:

    Proposed 2016 California Energy Efficiency Standards

    If you have experts at your company that can review the proposed regulations and provide feedback that would be helpful.

    Final proposed codes are scheduled for adoption at the CECs May 2015 Business Meeting.

    Feb 6

    ENERGY EFFICIENCY STANDARDS ANALYSIS – HELP WITH FUNDING REQUESTED

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    On behalf of the industry, we are contracting with an energy code expert to provide a baseline analysis the document.  This review will be used by our industry to identify issues that need to be addressed.

    If your company is interested in helping with the effort through a small contribution to assure that we can expand the analysis to issues such as lighting controls and zero net energy proposals, please contact Matthew Hargrove at mhargrove@cbpa.com – Every little bit will help.

    Feb 6

    HOW EFFICIENT IS ENERGY EFFICIENCY? – “FREAKONOMICS”

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Care about energy efficiency policy and the economics of mandate like what is happening above?  Well then, listening to this discussion and reading the papers of a noted economist asking some unorthodox questions (crazy stuff like, “do such mandates actually work?”) is worth the time:

    From the Freakonomics website, as heard on NPR:

    Arik Levinson is an environmental economist at Georgetown who spent some time as a senior economist for environmental issues with the Council of Economic Advisors (C.E.A.) under President Obama.  “One of my jobs,” he says, “was helping the White House evaluate the environmental policies coming out of the Department of Transportation, the Department of Energy, and the Environmental Protection Agency. And I quickly realized that most of the policies that I was seeing involved energy efficiency.”

    Click here to hear the story and find links to the academic studies.

    Feb 6

    FORMULA RETAIL IN SF – WATCHING STATEWIDE

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    The wonderfully named “California Peculiarities Employment Law Blog” has a piece on the recently passed “San Francisco Retail Workers Bill of Rights.” Everyone in the commercial, industrial, and/or retail real estate industry should be aware of this law as proponents are already trying to get it adopted in other jurisdictions and there are strong indications that statewide legislation will be introduced.

    Although the measure targets the working relationship between “formula retailers,” defined as businesses with 20 or more locations worldwide that employ 20 or more employees within San Francisco, it also has a huge impact on commercial real estate landlords that have such businesses as tenants.  In particular there is language in the measure that creates “successor employer” obligations similar to AB 350 which was defeated over four years ago, and the measure will apply to certain classes of property service personnel such as janitors.

    A large coalition of employers has already started meeting with legislators to prepare to push back on any bill that would attempt to bring this law to the state as a whole.  We also want to make sure that if you hear of local efforts to push such a measure, you coordinate with other employers, employer groups, and your local association, to educate policymakers as to why this restrictive policy would actually hurt the very employees it ostensibly is meant to help.

    A more detailed review of the measure can also be found here by Clicking here.

    The San Francisco Chamber led the opposition to the measure that went into law without the Mayor’s signature.

    You can read their letter here.

    Feb 6

    CALIFORNIA’S MANUFACTURING IS BIG BUT GROWTH IS SMALL

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Responding to a recent report stating that California is still the largest manufacturing state in the nation, the California Manufacturing and Technology Association clarifies by acknowledging we are the biggest, but our state is growth in manufacturing is concerningly low:

    “We are still hovering around one percent manufacturing job growth since the recession, while the rest of the U.S. is close to 7 percent growth. In 2013, we had only 1.5 percent of the country’s manufacturing investments. With a state that has about 11 percent of the U.S. population, we must attract more manufacturing.”

    Click here to read the full story from CMTA.

    Feb 6

    EV-CHARGING AND PARKING ACCESSIBILITY

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Over the past six months, there has been a growing level of controversy focusing on whether electric vehicle parking spaces should be accessible to those with disabilities.  In response, the Building Standards Commission directed the Division of the State Architect (DSA) to convene a group of stakeholders to identify key issues and make recommendations that would be used by DSA in developing amendments to California’s disabled accessibility building standards.  To date, DSA has conducted six workshops with the seventh planned for February 11th.

    BOMA has been represented at each of these gatherings and the Governor’s Office is now actively engaged with this group as well.

    Of the many issues that have been identified, the two of greatest concern to industry is “what” and “how many.”  Regarding “how many,” some advocates would like to see every EV-charging station (100%) meet the dimensional specifications required for “van-accessible” parking spaces.  This would require parking spaces to be roughly 17-20 feet in width instead of the standard 8-9 feet, effectively taking out at least two parking spaces for each EV-charging station installed.  On behalf of our members we supporting the currently held notion that EV-Charging is a “service” and should be treated no differently than other services which require the standard “4%” accessibility application rule.  Moving to a “100%” suggested by the advocates for the disabled community would unnecessary complicate compliance and could ultimately cause less EV-Charging installations to happen.

    We are participating in the February 11th workshop and are providing comment on the draft regulation prior to being submitted to the Building Standards Commission for processing in the Triennial Code Cycle (effective 1/1/17).

    Feb 6

    EV-READY BUILDING STANDARDS SET TO TAKE EFFECT 7/1/15

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    In response to an Executive Order issued by the Governor in late-2012, the California Building Standards Commission (CBSC) and the Department of Housing & Community Development (HCD) have adopted regulations to require the installation of Electric Vehicle (EV) ready infrastructure.  As opposed to installing fully operational (and costly) charging stations for electric vehicles, these “EV-ready” building standards would be limited to items which would facilitate the later installation of the charging stations at a significantly reduced cost.

    For example, new commercial buildings having parking lots containing more than 49 spaces will be required to have an electrical panel with enough empty plug slots to allow for the later installation of EV charging equipment.  In addition, there will also need to be one-inch wide conduit (piping) provided for the later installation of the wiring connecting the electrical panel with a point in close proximity to the designated EV service space.

    Environmental organizations and the Air Resource Board (ARB) had argued for the installation of fully functioning EV charging facilities, however, after hearing concerns expressed by us, the CBSC has chosen to move forward with only “EV-ready” regulations.  Doing this also helps avoid issues related to disabled accessibility that will take much longer to resolve.

    For commercial building parking facilities, the required number of EV-Ready parking spaces shall be 1 EV-ready space for every 50 parking spaces.

    These new EV-Ready building standards will apply to projects for which the permit application is submitted to the local building department on or after July 1, 2015.