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  • Archive for the ‘Energy’ Category

    Feb 10

    GREEN CALIFORNIA SUMMIT

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    The 2012 Green California Summit & Expo, the largest annual event focused on green policy, practice and technology, comes to the Sacramento Convention Center on April 26 & 27. Now in its sixth year, the Summit will feature 150 companies offering green products and services, as well as keynote speakers, educational sessions, a special full-day green curriculum workshop, leadership awards, and networking opportunities.

    BOMA California is a sponsor of this is event.  As such you receive a 20% discount when you register by using the code “BOMA”. Click here to register, or call Cindy Dangberg at 626-577-5700.

    Feb 10

    DIRECT ASSESSMENT FEES MAY BE OVERESTIMATED

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Commercial properties in certain areas of California are billed for direct assessment fees (sewer/

    water) on their property tax bill.  These direct assessments are calculated by the building’s square footage and type of use – not actual usage – and these estimated fees are oftentimes incorrect.

    There are companies out there that can help you ascertain if you have been overcharged and help you recover that money.  As an example, Capitol Recovery Advisors will audit your past payments for up to the last three years to determine if you are owed a refund. If they can’t recover a refund, there is no charge.  To see if your area qualifies and/or to begin the process please click here for more information.

    Jan 19

    CEC POSTPONES RELEASE OF PROPOSED ENERGY STANDARDS

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

     Needing additional time to complete the full regulatory packet, the California Energy Commission has pushed back the release of their proposed changes to California’s Energy Efficiency Building Standards (Title 24, Part 6).  The CEC had intended to release the formal “45-Day Language” package during the first week of January, however, they recently pushed that release date back to the last week of February.  In the meantime, industry representatives have been meeting with members of the Administration to voice our objection over the bad timing of this historically large increase in proposed stringency and the related costs associated with those changes.

     Any concerns or comments you have on these regulations would be welcome.  For more information on this complicated process and to read proposed changes that will impact your business, visit the CEC website.

    Aug 24

    ENERGY COMMISSION STANDARDS DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOPS WIND DOWN

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    The California Energy Commission has conducted the last of 15 workshops aimed at gathering public comment on proposed changes to their energy efficiency standards.  Of the numerous changes being proposed, the CEC would like to require non-residential building compliance documentation to be filed in the CEC’s on-line compliance registry.  This is already required for residential buildings, but the process has been very “bumpy” as the on-line filing system used by the CEC does not allow for most common project plan-changes to be added once the process has started.   

    After taking comments from the public, the CEC Staff will begin the preparation of formal regulatory language that will be released to the public in late-September or October.  The CEC plans to formally adopt new standards in March of 2012 and for the standards to take effect statewide on January 1, 2014.

    Aug 19

    ENERGY COMMISSION CALENDAR FOR REG HEARINGS

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    The California Energy Commission will be conducting its final “informal workshop” on Tuesday, August 23, wherein potential changes to California’s energy efficiency building standards will be discussed. 

    The meeting on August 23 will focus on a host of residential issues including items related to solar energy, HVAC systems and required compliance documentation. The CEC staff will then spend most of September developing a draft set of revised regulations which will be made available to the public on September 30th. The CEC will then conduct one or more formal hearings prior to the release of the formal regulatory package on December 2. 

    It is the CEC’s goal to have new standards adopted by March or April of 2012. These updated standards would then need to gain approval from the Building Standards Commission prior to taking effect statewide on January 1, 2014.

    These regulations will impact your company.   We are following the procedures but need experts from our industry to be more involved. Email us to find out what you can do.

    Aug 19

    ACHIEVING ENERGY SAVINGS IN CALIFORNIA BUILDINGS

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Here are some recommendations moving forward as part of a regulatory proceeding at the California Energy Commission:

    * Mandate all commercial new construction be Zero Net Energy (ZNE) by 2030. ZNE means that over a year that your building generates as much energy onsite as it pulls from the grid.

    * Have the CEC use fines and penalties to enforce energy code at the state level;

    * Use a “societal value” to calculate cost effectiveness for Zero Net Energy. In other words, change the current objective cost calculations required to pass energy code and add in a “subjective” component that will allow mandates for technology that will not pay for itself.

    * Develop “reach” standards (as opposed to incremental “reachable” standards) for adoption at the local level and be included into CALGreen.

    * Increase Title 24 requirements by jumps of 20-30% each adoption over the next three cycles.

    * Require public building rating disclosures.

    * Require energy efficiency improvements in existing buildings not tied to a scheduled improvement.

    * Mandate a time-of-sale or time period trigger for upgrades and disclosures.

    * Shift responsibility on to building owners and managers for reducing tenant plug-loads.

    Yes, this is actually all happening now in a regulatory process. Some find it hard to believe that policymakers are considering such an aggressive statewide policy. Click below to read the recommendations for yourself:

    Saving Energy in Existing Buildings and Achieving a Zero‐Net‐Energy Future

    Contact us if you have any thoughts or opinions on how this might impact your business or to get more involved in the public process.

    Jul 29

    ACHIEVING ENERGY SAVINGS IN CALIFORNIA BUILDINGS

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Here are some recommendations moving forward as part of a regulatory proceeding at the California Energy Commission:

    * Mandate all commercial new construction be Zero Net Energy (ZNE) by 2030. ZNE means that over a year that your building generates as much energy onsite as it pulls from the grid.

    * Have the CEC use fines and penalties to enforce energy code at the state level.

    * Use a “societal value” to calculate cost effectiveness for Zero Net Energy. In other words, change the current objective cost calculations required to pass energy code and add in a “subjective” component that will allow mandates for technology that will not pay for itself.

    * Develop “reach” standards (as opposed to incremental “reachable” standards) for adoption at the local level and be included into CALGreen.

    * Increase Title 24 requirements by jumps of 20-30% each adoption over the next three cycles.

    * Require public building rating disclosures.

    * Require energy efficiency improvements in existing buildings not tied to a scheduled improvement.

    * Mandate a time-of-sale or time period trigger for upgrades and disclosures.

    * Shift responsibility on to building owners and managers for reducing tenant plug-loads.

    Yes, this is actually all happening now in the regulatory process. Some find it hard to believe that policymakers are considering such an aggressive statewide policy. Click below to read the recommendations for yourself:

    Saving Energy in Existing Buildings and Achieving a Zero‐Net‐Energy Future

    Contact us if you have any thoughts or opinions on how this might impact your business or to get more involved in the public process.

    Jul 8

    **ACTION** ENERGY COMMISSION WORKSHOP ON ENERGY SAVINGS IN BUILDINGS

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    On Wednesday, July 20, at 9:00 a.m. in Sacramento the California Energy Commission is holding a workshop to solicit comments on the Draft Staff Report “Achieving Energy Savings in California Buildings.”  The report addresses challenges and potential strategies for the state to consider as regulatory strategies to achieve more energy savings. 

    Industry input is imperative in this process. 

    This is your opportunity to comment on proposals for achieving zero-net-energy residential buildings by 2020 and zero-net-energy commercial buildings by 2030.   Achieving these goals will require enormous efficiency improvements in both building construction (envelope) and in the ever increasing number of electric devices they contain (plug-load).

    Recommendations regarding the requirements of Assembly Bill 758 (Skinner and Bass, Chapter 470, Statutes of 2009) for the Energy Commission to develop a comprehensive program to achieve greater energy savings in the state’s existing buildings will also be discussed.

    Materials for review will be posted at the following website: www.energy.ca.gov/2011_energypolicy/index.html. Note, not all materials are currently posted, so you may need to check back. 

    Your Sacramento representatives will be present at this meeting; however, it is very important that as experts and practitioners you provide us with overall and technical comments on these proposed rules.  If our industry does not provide comments, these mandatory rules will potentially be written by individuals with no practical experience managing commercial properties. 

    Please pass along any comments you have to be included in the industry response to Matthew Hargrove participate directly.

    Jul 8

    ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING STATION BILL MOVES FORWARD

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    AB 631 (Ma; D-San Francisco) a bill which clarifies that properties providing Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations in their parking lots are not considered public utilities, passed the Senate Energy Committee on a bi-partisan vote.

    AB 631 codifies the summary conclusion of the July 2010 Phase 1 Decision (D, 100-07—044) in the Alternative-Fueled Vehicle Rulemaking (R. 09-08-009).  In that decision the CPUC concluded that based on current law providers of EV charging services were not considered or regulated as public utilities.

    The California Energy Commission (CEC) projects the number of EV charging stations could grow from approximately 32,000 in 2011 to 1.5 million by 2020.  By putting this decision into state law, AB 631 provides regulatory certainty to businesses that want to provide EV charging services and will induce more businesses to install EV charging infrastructure. 

    As the demand for EV charging stations from tenants/patrons grows – and as mandates are adopted in some jurisdictiond to provide such services – this bill is essential.  It will allow investors to recover capital costs in equipment without undefined and unnecessary regulation, and allows properties the flexibility to provide such services for free, charge a per use fee, or negotiate it into a lease.

    Jun 24

    ENERGY REGULATORS TO HOLD WORKSHOP THAT WILL IMPACT YOU

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    On Wednesday, July 6, the California Energy Commission’s Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR) Committee will conduct a workshop jointly with the California Air Resources Board, California Environmental Protection Agency, California Independent System Operator Corporation, and California Public Utilities Commission to discuss updates to the California Clean Energy Future.

    We encourage participation from our members in this meeting that will update the California Clean Energy Future to reflect Governor Brown’s 2020 energy policy goals as well as the recently enacted 33 percent renewable portfolio standard.  If you care about energy prices, this proceeding will directly impact you.

    The agencies are looking for feedback on how to measure progress in meeting the policies identified in the California Clean Energy Future Overview document and on how to execute the policies and track progress in a “transparent and effective” way.

    Click here for more information on this energy proceeding.

    May 27

    FEDERAL BUILDING CODE PROPOSED FOR ENERGY EFFICIENCY

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    And in an effort that is following the lead of the Great State of California, Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) have introduced legislation that would greatly increase federal influence over state and local building codes concerning energy efficiency in commercial and residential buildings.  The bill, “S. 1000: The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2011,” would establish aggressive annual efficiency goals and targets (overseen by the federal Department of Energy) on the path to so-called “zero-net-energy” for all new construction.  At this point, we don’t know exactly how the state and federal mandates would work with one another.

    Although every building owner and tenant wants to be energy efficient, there is tremendous diversity in the commercial, industrial, and retail real estate sector in terms of business models, customer base, and goods and services provided.  Not to mention the myriad of climate zones and variant levels of sunshine.  To assume that all tenants and all landlords should – or even could – achieve zero-net-energy requires a leap of faith that some technological breakthrough will happen in the near future.  If this becomes mandated as part of each state’s building code, property owners and tenants will find it extremely difficult to meet such standards without incurring excessive costs or making difficult compromises on a wide range of designs and services (lots of flat, one-story buildings; forget about high density!) – not to mention the need to generate on-site electricity. 

    We call on Congress to work closely with the commercial real estate industry to learn more about the realities of managing such properties and setting more realistic goals and providing incentives to move this issue forward.

    May 20

    FEDERAL BUILDING CODE PROPOSED FOR ENERGY EFFICIENCY

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) have introduced legislation that would greatly increase federal influence over state and local building codes concerning energy efficiency in commercial and residential buildings.  The bill, “S. 1000: The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2011,” would establish aggressive annual efficiency goals and targets (overseen by the federal Department of Energy) on the path to so-called “zero-net-energy” for all new construction.  Zero-net-energy buildings are required to generate carbon-free energy on site as well as achieve particularly stringent efficiency levels.

    Politically predetermined levels of efficiency would be a radical departure from the traditional method for developing model energy codes through consensus-driven processes.  For example, each version of the ASHRAE 90.1 standards for commercial buildings is developed over a three-year period by a large group of technical experts drawn from the full spectrum of real estate practitioners.  In contrast, the zero-net-energy goal was concocted by an insular group of environmentalists and has been strongly promoted on Capitol Hill for several years.  Although this aggressive target has been rejected by Congress for the past six years in a row, Senators Shaheen and Portman have revived the effort with the introduction of their bill.

    Although every building owner and tenant wants to be energy efficient, there is tremendous diversity in the retail real estate sector in terms of business models, customer base, and goods and services provided.  To assume that all tenants and all landlords should achieve zero-net-energy requires a questionable leap of faith.  Yet if it becomes part of each state’s building code, property owners and tenants may find it extremely difficult to meet such standards without incurring excessive costs or making difficult compromises on a wide range of designs and services – not to mention the need to generate on-site electricity. 

    ICSC will continue to follow this issue and provide input to policy makers on the unique issues confronting multi-tenant retail and mixed-use developments.  For more information contact Kent Jeffreys.