The next wave of California legislation aimed at reducing the state’s energy consumption and meeting mandates for reduced greenhouse gas emissions is set to wash ashore in January 2011 when Assembly Bill 1103 goes into effect. Its approach has commercial building owners, facility managers and real estate brokers throughout the state scrambling to understand the new law and begin collecting the data necessary to get a high-performance energy rating and keep their properties competitive.
Unlike California’s stringent Title 24 building energy efficiency codes that regulate standards for commercial construction and renovations, AB 1103 comes into play when a building is sold, leased in whole or refinanced. Along with the usual financial and transaction disclosures, it requires that building owners provide 12 months of energy-use information, or energy benchmarking, using the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager.
AB 1103 is one of the ways the state legislature is working to help achieve the greenhouse gas emission reductions mandated by the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, also known as AB 32. Commercial buildings account for more than 35 percent of electricity consumption in California and are significant contributors to the state’s greenhouse gas emissions.