​Building Energy Use Benchmarking Data Due June 1

Under California’s Building Energy Benchmarking Program, owners of large (50,000 square feet plus) California buildings must report their energy usage to the California Energy Commission (CEC).

The program was mandated by statute (AB 802), in order to help large building owners, tenants and others better understand the energy consumption of their buildings through standardized energy use metrics. The CEC estimates that this will enable planning for energy efficiency improvements, and result in an approximate 3 percent savings in annual energy expenditures. Annual energy use reporting requirements were initially implemented for nonresidential buildings in 2018, and are expanded this year to include residential buildings.

June 1 is the deadline for commercial and residential building owners to file annual reports. There are exceptions for condominiums, buildings with less than 17 residential accounts, and some buildings primarily used for scientific experiments requiring controlled environments or for manufacturing or industrial purposes. These exceptions and program requirements are described in the CEC’s Building Energy Benchmarking Program regulations. Instructions for compliance and FAQs are available on the Building Energy Benchmarking Program website. Utilities are obligated to provide their customers' monthly building-level energy use data to enable compliance, and the CEC provides an online tool for submission of the required information. For buildings located in local jurisdictions that have their own local benchmarking requirements (currently Berkeley, Los Angeles and San Francisco), an exemption may apply if the local jurisdiction applied for and received an exemption from the CEC.

The CEC has authority to impose fines for noncompliance, but is providing a 30-day period to correct a violation of the June 1 reporting requirements.

Ellison Schneider Harris & Donlan attorneys can provide information on this and other California regulatory agency reporting requirements. For more information contact Jeff Harris or Lynn Haug.