Last week San Francisco passed a landmark energy Ordinance requiring owners of commercial buildings to perform energy benchmarking. The San Francisco Existing Commercial Buildings Energy Performance Ordinance requires annual bench marking and energy audits every five years.
Annual energy benchmarking is defined as follows:
(a) Annual Energy Benchmark Summary Reporting. The owner of every non-residential building in the City shall annually file with the Department of the Environment an Annual Energy Benchmark Summary report (“AEBS”) for each covered building using ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager and according to the schedule set forth in Section 2004 of this Chapter. The AEBS shall be based on assessment in Portfolio Manager of the entire non-residential building and related facilities, and must use 12 continuous months of data ending no earlier than two months prior to submittal to the Department of the Environment.
Compliance with the energy benchmarking is staggered based on the size of the building, but the first group of buildings, non-residential buildings over 50,000 s.f., is due in April of 2011.
The energy audits requirement is also staggered over 5 years, as the population of qualifying energy engineers could not otherwise meet the demand. The energy audits are required to be done to ASHRAE Level II Standards. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-conditioning Engineers Inc. (ASHRAE) maintains well established energy audit standards.
Energy Efficiency Auditor Qualifications
The San Francisco Existing Commercial Buildings Energy Performance Ordinance provides clear criteria for the qualifications of the energy engineer / energy auditor:
(c) Energy Efficiency Auditor Qualifications. An energy professional performing or supervising energy efficiency audits must hold one of the following qualifications:
(1) Licensed Professional Engineer and one of the following:
(A) At least 2 years experience performing energy efficiency audits or commissioning of existing buildings; or
(B) ASHRAE Commissioning Process Management Professional Certification; or
(C) Similar qualifications in energy efficiency analysis or commissioning.
(2) Association of Energy Engineers Certified Energy Manager (CEM);
(3) At least 10 years experience as a building operating engineer, or at least 5 years experience as a chief operating engineer and one of the following:
(A) BOC International Building Operator Certification; or
(B) International Union of Operating Engineers Certified Energy Specialist; or
(4) Equivalent professional qualifications to manage, maintain, or evaluate systems, as well as specialized training in energy efficiency audits and maintenance of systems, as determined by the Director.
By requiring serious credentials the San Francisco Existing Commercial Buildings Energy Performance Ordinance will ultimately make the data generated more useful to building owners.
The benchmarking piece of the law will dovetail nicely with California law AB 1103, which requires building owners to disclose their Energy Star Ratings at during sale, lease, or financing transactions.