All About Los Angeles’ Existing Building Energy & Water Efficiency “EBEWE” Ordinance

Energy benchmarking and disclosure laws are popping up across the nation, but Los Angeles building owners are going to be pulling double duty. California’s AB-802 and Los Angeles’ Existing Building Energy and Water Efficiency Ordinance (EBEWE) are both going into effect. We have covered AB-802 in previous blog articles so here we focus on Los Angeles’ EBEWE. You can find our most recent article specifically covering AB-802 at http://mep-llc.com/AB-802-ENERGY-STAR-and-YOUR-Building.html

EBEWE was unanimously adopted by the LA City Council on December 14, 2016. The ordinance is a part of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Sustainable City plan and is geared toward reducing our buildings’ energy and water consumption. The aim is to reduce energy consumption 30% by the year 2035.

Before performing your building benchmark your building must be registered with the LADBS (Los Angeles Department of Building Safety). This can be done by visiting www.ladbs.org/ebeweregistration and entering the building ID# specified in the letter received from LADBS or from BIO (Building Information Online). There is also an annual disclosure compliance fee of $64.66.

The EBEWE benchmarking process is easy if your building has already received an ENERGY STAR certification in the past year. This is because the ordinance uses Portfolio Manager to benchmark subject buildings. The only thing that you will have to add if you have completed an ENERGY STAR certification recently is your water data. However, if you do not have a Portfolio Manager profile it will take your property a few more steps to comply.

Anyone who has completed an ENERGY STAR application for a multi-tenant building knows that one of the most difficult parts of the process can be getting energy bills from all of their tenants. Thankfully, this will no longer be an impediment since AB-802 requires utility companies to provide full building data upon request. As it stands LADWP is conducting pilot engagements to test new data aggregation systems that will allow them to provide full building data to building owners. This is projected to be fully launched sometime during April 2017. Likewise SoCal Gas is updating their data aggregation process. Their new request form is expected to launch in April 2017 as well.

The EBEWE will first affect owners of buildings >100,000 square feet. Note that this value includes parking structures. Building owners will or have already received letters from the LADBS. The compliance deadline for these buildings is July 1st, 2017. Buildings of different sizes will be required to comply by different dates. For buildings of 50,000 to 100,000 square feet the compliance deadline is April 1st, 2018. For buildings of 20,000 to 50,000 square feet the compliance date is April 1st, 2019. Once a benchmark has been completed covered buildings will need to complete their annual energy and water benchmark every April 1st thereafter.

There are specific situations in which a building does not need to comply with EBEWE, such as when it has been vacant for an entire year with no Certificate of Occupancy, a Demolition permit has been issued, or no energy or water service was provided for an entire year. Single family homes, duplexes, residential hotels, sound stages, TV and film production facilities are also exempt from the EBEWE Ordinance.

Further out are the compliance dates for Energy Star certification and water audit completion and submittal. These are scheduled to begin as early as 2019 and these reports will be required to be completed and submitted every 5 years. Every 5 years thereafter buildings must achieve either an ENERGY STAR certification or have a CA licensed engineer certify they have reduced their Energy Use Intensity by 15%. If this standard is not achieved the building must perform an Energy Audit. For water use intensity the reduction standard is 20%. Subject buildings must either complete a water audit every 5 years starting in 2019 or have a CA licensed engineer confirm that their building has reduced Water Use Intensity by 20% compared to 5 years preceding.

Each benchmark requires building owners to report a full year of energy data (electric, gas, etc.) as well as a full year of water use data. Compliant buildings will have their annual utility consumption data posted to an LADBS database, which will be made public.

You can review the compliance instructions on the LADBS website at the following link: https://www.ladbs.org/services/green-building-sustainability/existing-buildings-energy-water-efficiency-program/how-to-comply-with-ebewe-program

Benchmarking is easier now than it ever has been. Increasing legislative and demonstrative fiscal incentives make it hard to see the downside to performing an energy benchmark.

This Blog article has been posted by Maximum Energy Professionals “MEP”, a mechanical engineering firm located in Torrance, CA. For information on Sustainability Services including: ENERGY STAR utility benchmarking and award certification, California AB802 Compliance, City of Los Angeles EBEWE Compliance, our Utility Data Management Software dashboard, ASHRAE energy audits, LEED, and energy conservation/green Mechanical-Electrical-Plumbing systems and equipment design, please give us a call at 310-782-1410 or visit our website at www.mep-llc.com.

Maximum Energy Professionals Earns 2017 Energy Star® Partner Of The Year Award

Torrance, CA, 4/6/17– Maximum Energy Professionals “MEP” has been named a 2017 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year – Service and Product Provider Award winner for its outstanding efforts to increase energy efficiency within commercial, institutional, and industrial markets. MEP’s accomplishments will be recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy in Washington, D.C. on April 26, 2017.

MEP, an ENERGY STAR partner since 2001, will be honored for outstanding efforts in integrating the ENERGY STAR program into every facet of its energy conservation consulting and engineering design firm. MEP is thrilled to be honored as ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year for the second year in a row!

“ENERGY STAR’S benchmark is the first way to find out where you are. You can’t make improvements if you haven’t measured where you are”, says Glenn Tanner, Principal Engineer, in 3/1/17 Huffington Post article.

Article Link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-energy-star_us_58c2e96be4b0ed71826c70ef?ncid=engmodushpmg00000004

In 2015 alone, ENERGY STAR and its partners saved American businesses and consumers 503 billion kilowatt hours and $34 billion dollars on their energy bills, while achieving broad emission reductions.

For a complete list of 2017 winners and more information about ENERGY STAR’s awards program, visit www.energystar.gov/awardwinners.

About Maximum Energy Professionals “MEP”
MEP is a nimble, responsive, Torrance, CA based energy conservation consulting and engineering design firm that helps building owners and managers optimize energy efficiency through energy audits, LEED, ENERGY STAR benchmarking and certification, property condition assessments, and innovative mechanical-electrical-plumbing design.

About ENERGY STAR
ENERGY STAR has 16,000 partners working to protect the environment through greater energy efficiency, including manufacturers, retailers, public schools, hospitals, real estate companies, and home builders. Since 1992, ENERGY STAR and its partners have saved American families and businesses $430 billion on their energy bills and 4.6 trillion kilowatt-hours of energy, while achieving broad emissions reductions—including 2.8 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

About Blog Post
This Blog article has been posted by Maximum Energy Professionals “MEP”, a mechanical engineering firm located in Torrance, CA. For information on Sustainability Services including: ENERGY STAR utility benchmarking and award certification, California AB802 Compliance, City of Los Angeles EBEWE Compliance, ASHRAE energy audits, LEED, and energy conservation/green Mechanical-Electrical-Plumbing systems and equipment design, please give us a call at 310-782-1410 or visit our website at www.mep-llc.com.

Maximum Energy Professionals “MEP” in the News!

energy-star-award

Glenn Tanner PE, Principal Engineer at Maximum Energy Professionals “MEP” was interviewed by the Huffington Post regarding potential changes in the ENERGY STAR program.

“There are three stages of a project: Where are you now? Where do you want to be? And what steps do you have to take to get there?” said Glenn Tanner, principal engineer at a Torrance, California-based green engineering design firm called MEP. “Energy Star’s benchmark is the first way to find out where you are. You can’t make improvements if you haven’t measured where you are.”

Please read the entire Huffington Post article at:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-energy-star_us_58c2e96be4b0ed71826c70ef?ncid=engmodushpmg00000004

This Blog article has been posted by Maximum Energy Professionals “MEP”, a mechanical engineering firm located in Torrance, CA. For information on Sustainability Services including: ENERGY STAR utility benchmarking and award certification, California AB802 Compliance, City of Los Angeles EBEWE Compliance, ASHRAE energy audits, LEED, and energy conservation/green Mechanical-Electrical-Plumbing systems and equipment design, please give us a call at 310-782-1410 or visit our website at www.mep-llc.com.

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Energy Star Is Cheap, Popular And Saves Billions Of Dollars. Trump Wants To Gut It

Privatizing the $57 million program could upend entire industries and kneecap cities’ efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Over the past 25 years, the federal government’s Energy Star program has become a valuable marker for all kinds of industries. Real estate agents upsell buildings that have been Energy Star-certified as energy efficient. Homeowners seek out its blue logo on electricity-guzzling appliances and devices.

But the White House has proposed eliminating funding for Energy Star and instructed the Environmental Protection Agency to “begin developing legislative options and associated groundwork for transferring ownership and implementation of Energy Star to a non-governmental entity,” according to a draft budget the energy news service E&E News obtained this week.

The cuts come as part of President Donald Trump administration’s effort to channel federal spending away from a variety of other programs and toward a $54 billion military buildup. But Energy Star helps save even more than the $57 million that the federal government spends on it each year, according to more than a dozen business executives, building consultants and energy advocates The Huffington Post interviewed this week.

 Energy Star is a voluntary initiative that has a number of different aspects. It includes a certification program for appliances, electronics and lighting; an evaluation system for rating the efficiency of homes and buildings; a program that trains engineers in energy efficiency; and an award series for eco-friendly small businesses. Nine major cities and a handful of states require landlords to report energy and water efficiency per Energy Star standards as part of their building codes.

 

Energy Star has slashed $430 billion off utility bills and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 2.7 billion tons since its inception, according to 2015 estimates.

“It’s such a win for our economy and such a huge return on investment of federal dollars,” said Kateri Callahan, president of the nonprofit Alliance to Save Energy. “It’s penny wise and pound foolish to look at reducing funding, let alone defunding the program or stopping it completely.”

For builders, Energy Star provides a standard to measure the energy efficiency of their properties. For landlords and building managers, free Portfolio Manager software launched under the initiative helps monitor energy and water use and shave hundreds off utility bills. For engineers, the program offers guidelines on indoor lighting, plumbing, ventilation, heating and cooling, ensuring that their structures waste as little electricity, heating gas and water as possible.

“There are three stages of a project: Where are you now? Where do you want to be? And what steps do you have to take to get there?” said Glenn Tanner, principal engineer at a Torrance, California-based green engineering design firm called MEP. “Energy Star’s benchmark is the first way to find out where you are. You can’t make improvements if you haven’t measured where you are.”

Please read the entire article at:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-energy-star_us_58c2e96be4b0ed71826c70ef?ncid=engmodushpmg00000004 via @HuffPostPol

This Blog article has been posted by Maximum Energy Professionals, a mechanical engineering firm located in Torrance, CA. For information on Sustainability Services including: ENERGY STAR utility benchmarking and award certification, California AB802 Compliance, ASHRAE energy audits, LEED, and energy conservation/green Mechanical-Electrical- Plumbing systems and equipment design, please give us a call at 310–782- 1410 or visit our website at www.mep-llc.com.

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AB 802, ENERGY STAR and YOUR Building

Since CA AB 802 requires participants to use the same online tool to report building gas and electric energy use as ENERGY STAR, it is likely that we will see a further increase in the number of buildings applying for ENERGY STAR PE award certification. AB 802 requires commercial building owners to benchmark their properties using Portfolio Manager, so the buildings will already be halfway done with their certification process if they are at or above the 75-point threshold.

CA AB 802

The new mandate, AB 802, is also expected to enable more accurate, efficient, and timely energy efficiency measures. The Assembly Bill (AB 802) will do this by breaking down the barriers between building owners and operators and their full-building utility data. AB 802 requires utility providers to respond to requests for full building utility data within 4 weeks. The gathering of utility data for Multi-tenant buildings has been problematic both for ENERGY STAR certification and for AB 802’s predecessor benchmarking law, AB 1103, due to the frequent difficulties posed by obtaining a year of bills from however many tenants occupy the building. AB 802 should go beyond enabling easier benchmarking, and in addition will open the door to an easier ENERGY STAR certification process for managers in buildings that suffer from this problem.

AB 802 is also likely to prompt energy efficiency retrofits as managers and owners will now be competing against other buildings on this new level with energy efficiency transparency in California’s real estate market. Once owners become engaged in their energy use they begin thinking of ways to save and often make changes to building operations. Hopefully, once property owners have benchmarked for the first time the result will be the similar to building owners’ reactions to ENERGY STAR.

75% of ENERGY STAR participants stated that they would recommend the program to others. ENERGY STAR certified buildings use on average 35% less energy than non-certified buildings of a similar type. Additionally, an EPA study found that benchmarked buildings reduced their energy use by about 2.4% every year. This means ENERGY STAR certified buildings cost less to operate than their non-certified counterparts. On top of this ENERGY STAR certified buildings often have higher rent rates and tenant satisfaction.

California AB 802 is creating accountability and transparency in conjunction with ENERGY STAR’s recognition and reward. Together the two will change California’s approach to energy efficiency, minimize waste, and spread awareness and engagement with our energy infrastructure.

MEP has performed ENERGY STAR certification on thousands of buildings. In 2016 MEP was named Energy Star Partner of the Year with over 240 buildings certified. MEP also regularly performs building benchmarks. Contact MEP today for benchmarking assistance be it mandatory or voluntary, and for more information on our Utility Data Management Software program, ENERGY STAR, LEED, Energy Audits, and Mechanical-Electrical-Plumbing energy efficiency engineering design at http://www.mep-llc.com or call us at 310-782-1410.

Refrigerants: What’s New in 2017?

The United States has passed a number of regulations regarding refrigerants since the signing of the Montreal Protocol in 1987. Many of these regulations have been implemented in phases, and we are now on the brink of a wave of new restrictions. It can be hard to keep up with the shifting bans and limitations, so here we have laid out a little bit of the history behind refrigerants and the coming timeline of future regulations and restrictions.

Refrigerants: What’s New in 2017?
Refrigerants: What’s New in 2017?

The roll back on CFCs (Chlorofluorocarbons) officially began in 1989 when the Montreal Protocol went into effect with its series of staggered limits on their use and production. During the 1970s scientists observed a marked drop in the Earth’s ozone content around its polar regions. The ozone is a crucial layer of Earth’s atmosphere that shields the planet’s surface from harmful Ultraviolet radiation. This thinning or depletion of the ozone layer was determined by scientists to be caused by CFCs present in the upper atmosphere. To combat the widening hole in the ozone layer an international treaty was drafted that became known as the Montreal Protocol. This treaty bans the production of not only CFCs, but also Halons and other compounds with ozone depleting properties. The Montreal Protocol is widely considered to be one of the most successful and rapidly implemented international environmental endeavors.

The Montreal Protocol has been expanded and updated since its creation to phase out more refrigerants that have a high Global Warming Potential (GWP), also known as high ozone depleting properties. HCFCs (Hydrochlorofluorocarbons) are part of one of the Montreal Protocol’s subsequent long-term goals. According to the full text of the Montreal Protocol the United States must incrementally decrease HCFC consumption and production, with the end goal of a complete elimination of HCFCs in 2030. The prior benchmarked goals included a reduction to 90% below baseline levels in 2015 and a 99.5% reduction by 2020. The Clean Air Act bolstered and organized this phase out with a “worst first” mantra. The highest ozone depleting HCFCs were targeted and systemically eliminated. Some of these HCFCs that the Clean Air Act targeted first were HCFC-22, HCFC-141b, and HCFC-142b.

The latest step in the refrigerant phase-out was announced by the EPA in September 2016. This new step will ban a host of high GWP refrigerants including R-404a, R-134a, R-407c, and R-410a potentially by January 1, 2021. This applies to the use of R-404a and R-507a in new retail food refrigeration by January 1st, 2021 and in new cold storage warehouses by January 1st, 2023.

Regarding R-134a, the ban requires that it no longer be used for new centrifugal and positive displacement chillers by January 1, 2024. Some other refrigerants that this ruling affects are R-407c and R-410a, in addition to some interim “drop-in” blends. R-134a is also banned in new domestic refrigerators and freezers.

In addition to banning these refrigerants the new ruling from the EPA further intensifies leak rate rules to reduce the amount of refrigerants that escape equipment into the atmosphere. This new rule lowers the leak rate limits that trigger essential reparations of refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment containing 50lbs or more of refrigerant. The leak rate limits were lowered from35% to 30% for industrial process refrigeration, 35% to 20% for commercial refrigeration equipment and from 15% to 10% for comfort cooling equipment. The new rule also requires quarterly and/or annual leak inspections or continuous monitoring for devices that have exceeded their threshold leak rates. An additional leak requirement involves plant owners and operators. If their systems contain equal to or more than 50lbs of refrigerant and leak 125% or more of their full chargein one calendar year, then the owners and operators in question must submit reports to the EPA.

These new rules make it more important than ever for you to make regular maintenance and inspection on your building equipment routine. By doing so you can avoid violations and also ensure that you are not releasing harmful refrigerants that impact our planet’s atmospheric systems.

This Blog article has been posted by Maximum Energy Professionals, a mechanical engineering firm located in Torrance, CA. For information on Sustainability Services including: ENERGY STAR utility benchmarking and award certification, California AB802 Compliance, ASHRAE energy audits, LEED, and energy conservation/green Mechanical-Electrical-Plumbing systems and equipment design, please give us a call at 310-782-1410 or visit our website at www.mep-llc.com

What is California Green Building Standards Code (CALGreen)?

GREEN BUILDING DESIGN

Maximum Energy Professionals “MEP” assists our customers with adoption of California Green Building Standards Code (CALGreen) in their design approach. We offer specialized energy conservation consulting services, from feasibility studies through design and preparation of construction documents and construction phase services to assist our customers in all phases of green building design. As part of Title XXIV (24) and CALGreen, commissioning is now required in the state of California for all new non-residential projects over 10,000 square feet. Maximum Energy Professionals offers commissioning service that helps customers comply with these regulations.

Green Building

Green building (also known as green construction or sustainable building) refers to a structure and using process that is environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building’s life-cycle: from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and demolition. This requires close cooperation of the design team, the architects, the engineers, and the client at all project stages.[1] The Green Building practice expands and complements the classical building design concerns of economy, utility, durability, and comfort.

California Green Building Standards Code (CALGreen)

The California Green Building Standards Code (CALGreen) is Part 11 of twelve parts of the official compilation and publication of the adoption, amendment and repeal of building regulations to the California Code of Regulations, Title XXIV (24), also referred to as the California Building Standards Code. The purpose of this code is to improve public health, safety and general welfare by enhancing the design and construction of buildings through the use of building concepts with a reduced negative impact or an increased positive environmental impact and encouraging sustainable construction practices in the following categories:

1. Planning and design
2. Energy efficiency
3. Water efficiency and conservation
4. Material conservation and resource efficiency
5. Environmental quality

Title XXIV (24) Compliance

The California Energy Code, part 6 of the California Building Standards Code which is Title XXIV (24) of the California Code of Regulations, also titled The Energy Efficiency Standards for Residential and Nonresidential Buildings, was created by the California Building Standards Commission in 1978 in response to a legislative mandate to reduce California’s energy consumption. The standards are updated periodically by the California Energy Commission to allow consideration and possible incorporation of new energy efficiency technologies and methods.