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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 AB 1103 will be repealed effective January 1, 2016.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.

 

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.

 

Game Changing Technology: Transformative Wave’s Catalyst Roof Top RTU Energy Solution

Catalyst RTU Solution by Transformative WaveMore Than A VFD, Transformative Wave’s CATALYST Verified as Powerful New Way to Save Energy with Rooftop HVAC Units.

Most commercial buildings are cooled by packaged rooftop units (RTUs), but RTUs have a problem: Their fans run at full power, even when cooling demands are low. A few years ago, retrofit kits – like Catalyst – hit the market. These kits enabled building operators to upgrade their existing single-zone RTUs to variable-air-volume operation with claimed HVAC savings of 25 to 50 percent.

Originally, these claims were greeted with much skepticism, but independent tests keep bearing out vendor assertions. In 2013, US Dept. of Energy’s Advanced Rooftop Control (ARC) Retrofit: Field-Test Results (PDF) verified savings and demonstrated that these products- especially Transformative Wave’s Catalyst – are ready for prime time. Read Article Here

Editor’s Note:  Cooper Oates Air Conditioning is a certified Transformative Wave Affiliate, offering the Catalyst solution to building owners, property managers and facility engineers throughout the Sacramento Region. For information on how this RTU energy saving solution can work for you, contact info@coacair.com or download the Catalyst Brochure here.
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Game Changing Technology – VRF

VRF: An Energy Slashing HVAC System on the Rise

Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) also known as a Variable Refrigerant Volume (VRV) HVAC systems are becoming an important HVAC solution in the U.S. VRF’s make up about 24% of the global commercial air conditioning market and over 35% market share in China, India, and Eastern Europe. USA only represents about 3% of the market, but it is growing rapidly with multiple manufacturers like LG, Daikin, Carrier, Mitsubishi and Sanyo.

A VRF system allows one outdoor condensing unit to be connected to multiple indoor fan-coil units, each individually controllable by its user, while modulating the amount of refrigerant being sent to each evaporator. By operating at varying speeds, VRF units work only at the needed rate allowing for substantial energy savings at partial-load conditions.

VRF systems have some distinct advantages over conventional systems but they are not for every situation or  application. Learn more about this growing and innovative HVAC solution and review case studies at the end of the article.   READ MORE HERE

Editors Note: We are seeing greater demand for this technology due to life-cycle cost benefits and occupant comfort benefits that outweigh the higher first-cost as compared to conventional systems.

Building Operations: The First Place To Look To Improve Energy Performance

Improve building energy performance The enduring fact remains that no matter how good a piece of equipment is, no matter how well a building is designed and no matter how much money is spent, all it takes is one override of the HVAC controls to throw off energy efficiency efforts.      READ MORE
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