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Bob Knows: Winter Building Preparations

Robert Plotner Vice President Service Operations

There are many things to consider when preparing for winter operation of any building, but keep in mind these shoulder months offer a huge opportunity for energy saving.

As we approach the heating season, we need to be checking the heating cycles on all the air conditioning equipment, paying particular attention to the operation of the boilers. During the early hours of the morning heating may be needed to take the chill off but in the afternoon there may be a need for cooling.  A well-tuned building will only use the amount of heating and cooling needed to make the building comfortable.  Too often we find a building is overheating and overcooling and sometimes heating and cooling at the same time, missing out on a tremendous amount of energy savings.

Besides the HVAC systems, building owners should check and clear all roof drains, remove all roof debris and look for cracks or bubbles in the roofing that may indicate problems.  As a service for our customers, our technicians report any issues they may see while they are on the roof of any building, but a thorough exam should be on your winter prep list.

Don’t wait until you have bigger problems at critical times, now is the time to test and review your systems and insure that energy expenses are minimized and tenant comfort is protected. If you have any questions about your HVAC winter preparations, feel free to contact me directly.

Bob Plotner,
Vice President, Service Operations

 

 

Energy Disclosure Law Is Completely Changed with New Law AB-802

Electrical_metersCommercial building owners no longer have the burden of disclosing energy consumption to prospective buyers, tenants or lenders. Effective January 1, 2016, Assembly Bill 802, signed by Governor Brown on October 8, 2015, places the burden for providing energy use data on the utility companies with a completely re-written energy disclosure law.

New Laws (AB 802) Replacing the Existing Energy Use Disclosure Law (AB 1103)

AB 802 creates a new energy use disclosure program for the State of California, and replaces the existing law, Assembly Bill 1103 (AB 1103). The key aspects of AB 802 on are:

  1. AB 1103 will remain in effect until December 31, 2015, and until such time, the disclosure of building energy use shall continue to be required in connection with a sale, lease, finance, or refinance of an entire building.
  2. AB 1103 will be repealed effective January 1, 2016.
  3. There will be no statewide energy use disclosure requirement in 2016.
  4. In 2016, the California Energy Commission (CEC) will engage in a public process to develop regulations and establish a new reporting infrastructure for the new program under AB 802.
  5. The CEC anticipates that new regulations will be in effect by January 1, 2017.
  6. New regulations…..??

The Existing Law – AB 1103

California’s existing energy use disclosure program, AB 1103, has been plagued with implementation problems since the enactment of the law in 2007.
Under AB 1103, utilities are required to maintain records of the energy consumption of certain nonresidential buildings. Utilities are required to make the energy consumption data available upon request of a building owner or operator. An owner or operator in turn is required to disclose benchmarking data and ratings for a building for the most recent 12 months to a prospective buyer, lessee, or lender. (Public Resources Code §25402.10.)

In practice, however, it has been difficult for building owners and operators to obtain the data from the utilities due to, among other things, the demands made by utilities for authorization from tenants, which in many cases has been difficult or even impossible to obtain.

The New Law – AB 802

AB 802 was enacted in response to these and other concerns with AB 1103. The stated intent of the Legislature in enacting AB 802 is that the CEC create a benchmarking and disclosure program which will allow owners and operators of commercial and multifamily buildings containing 50,000 square feet and more to better understand their energy consumption through standardized energy use metrics.

Under the new program, a utility must maintain energy usage data for all buildings served by that utility for at least the most recent 12 complete calendar months. A utility would need to provide the benchmark data to a building owner or operator within four weeks of a request. In addition, AB 802 requires the CEC to develop regulations to govern the delivery of benchmark data to the CEC and the public disclosure of such data.

AB 802 eliminates the private disclosure made between parties to a transaction under AB 1103, and instead will require the public disclosure of certain operating performance data. AB 802 also applies to multifamily buildings, whereas AB 1103 did not.

Thus, while AB 802 does not impose any transactional burdens on building owners and operators – a welcome change from AB 1103 – it will require the disclosure of certain energy use data that was not previously available to the public.

Timing of Implementation

It is important to note that AB 1103 will remain in effect until December 31, 2015, which means that building energy use disclosure continues to be required for the sale, lease, finance, or refinance of certain non-residential buildings until the end of the year. AB 1103 will be repealed effective January 1, 2016, and there will be no statewide energy use disclosure requirement in 2016. The CEC anticipates that regulations for the new AB 802 program will be in effect by January 1, 2017.

 

Mesh Networked Thermostats Help Raley Field Suites Save Energy

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Raley Field Suites

New wireless internet-programmable thermostats are becoming an affordable alternative to the wired HVAC building controls of the past. Several types of these retrofit friendly and affordable thermostats are now available for installation in any commercial building, depending on your needs and application.

COAC recently installed the Pelican advanced thermostat in the suites at Raley Field. The Pelican controls multiple stages of heating and cooling, was easy to install and program and has all of the features you would expect from an advance thermostat.Mesh Network tstats

Utilizing the existing thermostat wires to each rooftop unit, no network cabling and only a single gateway, the Pelican thermostat automatically routes and repeats the wireless signal between each device and is able to spread the wireless communication from the zone controller to every zone through-out a commercial building with ease. In the case of Raley Field, only one gateway was needed to internet-enable and control all of the suites. The initial thermostat setup and ongoing scheduling management is done through the Pelican web-app. The app provides an intuitive control for managing multiple thermostats, schedules and access to historical temperature and HVAC usage data at any time. The thermostat also continuously monitors the health of the HVAC systems and sends immediate maintenance alerts to authorized personnel via email or text message at the first sign of a problem. All controls are accessible from your smart phone or desktop. Contact COAC’s John McAlpine at 916.381.4611 to see how this advanced thermostat can give you the control over your HVAC system at a very affordable price.

Preparing For a Future Without Any R-22

R-22 bannedThe EPA’s release of the R-22 phaseout schedule has provided a better idea of how fast R-22 refrigerant will be eliminated. Building owners and managers can now plan for it over the next few years. A big part of that preparation is education.

R-22 will be gone soon so now is the time to make decisions about your HVAC equipment. In Sacramento, 70-80% of commercial buildings still have R-22 systems in operation. Whats your plan?

Read More Here

 

 

How Creativity Can Maximize Productivity

Creativity aids productivity

Work Smarter, Not Harder

Feeling out of “juice”? Being able to harness your creativity in business, and in life, is a skill that can be nurtured, and drawn upon when needed. Steve Jobs once said, “Creativity is just connecting things.” So what are you doing to “connect things”? In a short piece found on the Huff Post Blog, it encourages you to feed your creative pipeline, make connections, and then apply the ideas.  Read More Here

Dealing with HVAC Noise Complaints

Bothersome HVAC noises aren’t just annoying for occupants, they can also indicate HVAC dysfunction. Examine possible causes to determine where the problem lies. You may end up with a solution that can both save energy and contribute to occupant satisfaction and productivity.  Read More Here

HVAC Noise pathways

3 Ways to Improve Winter IAQ & Productivity

Winter IAQ solutionsAccording to some World Health Organization experts, 30% of commercial buildings in the U.S. have poor IAQ, which is linked to respiratory illnesses and allergies. In addition to shouldering the medical expenses of sick workers, U.S. businesses experience as much as a 33% drop in worker productivity due to poor IAQ. But there are ways to decrease airborne disease transmission and have a healthier building. Read More Here

 

 

Partnering with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to “Knock Out” Cancer

Jan. 16th was Cancer Awareness night at the Kings Game. COAC partnered with LLS to help bring the fight to save lives from ravages of cancer to the fans. COAC’s “The King” was there and posed for knock out pictures with the fans.

2 boy scouts 2 cops arms up cancer survivor woman Phil Oates with the King small family two teen girls

A Cool Idea – Electricity Free Air Conditioning

New materials may change the way temperatures are regulated

 

Cooper Oates Air Conditioning HVAC, Mechanical Contractors, Electricity

A Stanford University research team has invented a way for buildings to dump their heat without the needs for pumps, fans or compressors. This idea, described in a recent issue of Nature, is simple and provocative – radiate the heat back into space. The materials used for this process are still in the prototype stage and in the end would probably not eliminate all of a building’s cooling needs. The idea could be the start of something really cool.  Read More Here.