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California Commercial Building Owners Required to Submit Energy Use Disclosures by June 1, 2018

AB 802, California's energy use disclosure law, requires owners of commercial buildings containing more than 50,000 square feet to report their energy performance by June 1, 2018. Building owners who have missed the June 1, 2018, reporting deadline are urged to report as soon as possible. The California Energy Commission (CEC) has the authority to issue fines for noncompliance, after allowing a period of 30 days to correct a violation.

Assembly Bill 802 (AB 802)

AB 802 replaced the State's prior energy use disclosure law, AB 1103, which had required building owners to make disclosures regarding a building's energy use at the time of a sale, lease, or finance. (View our previous alert.

Unlike AB 1103, energy use disclosures are no longer tied to transactions under AB 802. Instead, AB 802 directs the CEC to create an annual, statewide building energy use benchmarking and public disclosure program for (1) all commercial buildings containing over 50,000 square feet gross building area, and (2) all multifamily complexes with 17 or more tenant units that are direct billed for energy.

AB 802 requires annual energy consumption reports from each building. Building owners must authorize their utility provider to record and upload their building’s energy data to EPA’s Portfolio Manager, a free reporting tool provided by the United States EPA that allows building owners to compare their building’s energy efficiency with similar buildings.

Compliance Requirements

Owners of buildings in California that have a gross floor area of 50,000 square feet or greater are required to benchmark their energy performance annually, and report the results to the CEC per the following schedule:

  • For disclosable buildings with no residential utility accounts, reporting is due by June 1, 2018, and annually thereafter. 

  • For disclosable buildings with 17 or more residential utility accounts, reporting is due by June 1, 2019, and annually thereafter.

AB 802 also requires that energy utilities provide building-level energy use data to building owners, owners' agents, and operators upon request for buildings with no residential utility accounts and for buildings with five or more utility accounts. The CEC will publicly disclose some of the reported information beginning in 2019 for buildings with no residential utility accounts, and 2020 for buildings with residential utility accounts. 

Implications for Owners of Buildings in Cities with Existing Programs

The cities of San Francisco, Berkeley, and Los Angeles already have local benchmarking and public disclosure programs whose requirements exceed those of the state program. Per the state regulations, a local jurisdiction may request that the CEC provide an exemption from the state reporting requirement for buildings located in the local jurisdiction. If the exemption is approved, the owners of buildings in that jurisdiction may report to the local jurisdiction only, and will not be required to report to the CEC.

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About this Author

Alyssa Engstrom, Allen Matkins Law Firm, Los Angeles, Real Estate, Corporate, Energy and Litigation Attorney

Alyssa Engstrom is a litigation associate in the firm's Los Angeles office. Alyssa practices in all aspects of general business, environmental, land use, and real estate litigation. Alyssa also has experience with federal receiverships and construction matters. Alyssa has experience drafting motions, as well as experience in all aspects of civil discovery, including depositions, written discovery, and resolution of discovery disputes.

Alyssa was previously a summer associate at Allen Matkins.  Prior to joining Allen Matkins, Alyssa was a legal...

Emily L. Murray, Environmental litigation Attorney, Allen Matkins Law Firm

Emily L. Murray is a partner in our Los Angeles office whose practice focuses on environmental litigation, land use, and energy law.

Emily's litigation practice includes federal and state court litigation of environmental claims related to land use, water quality, air quality, and hazardous materials brought under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA), the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act. She also represents clients before federal, state, and local agencies in connection with permitting and enforcement actions.