What is AB 1103 and why is it now in all my commercial contract agreements?
A: Authored in 2007, Assembly Bill 1103 requires electric and gas utilities to maintain energy use data for non-residential buildings and provide that information to building Owners upon request.
Additionally, the statute requires Energy Star Portfolio Manager (a energy measurement tool provided free by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) benchmarking data and ratings for the most recent 12-month period. This program rates a building’s energy performance on a scale of 0-100, with 100 being best at energy efficiency. This Energy Star rating score is to be made available to potential lenders, lessees and buyers at least 24 hours prior to a signature agreement.
In 2009, AB 1103 was amended, empowering the California Public Utilities Commission to manage the implementation schedule of AB 1103.
The California PUC set the regulations under AB 1103 to go into effect, January 1, 2014.
What buildings fall under AB 1103’s purview?
A: If you answer “yes” to the following three questions, your building falls under the requirements of AB 1103:
(NOTE: Factory [Manufacturing] (Group F & H Occupancies), and Laboratories (L Occupancies), along with Residential non-transient (R-2, R-3 & R-4 Occupancies) and not classified as Institutional uses are exempt.)
So, what do I have to do to comply with AB 1103?
A: Here is your checklist of what to do:
OPTION: Hire a consultant. This is a new process and not without known kinks. For instance, according to public information as of July 2, LA’s Department of Water & Power had only successfully uploaded “about 5 [building reports] so far this year” for the purpose of compliance with AB 1103. It would be interesting to know how many building transactions were made without an AB1103 filing, because frustrated parties in a transaction, tried everything they could to comply, but when the the program or forms fail, they do what they need to do… give up, and move on. Needless to say, LADWP is working on it; but for the Owner and Broker, it can be a headache (depending on the area served), at least for the short term. Other utilities have better success. There are workarounds. Most problem areas and their workarounds are addressed at the Energy Commission’s Frequently Asked Questions webpage at www.energy.ca.gov/ab1103.
By comparison, the option (which is to hire a consultant) can be pretty much painless. I have found that for $300-$500 the necessary filings can be done in about 48-72 hours for a single metered building of up to about 50,000 square feet.
Sorry, at the present time, SOA is not offering AB 1103 filing services.
- Patrick McIlhenney, AIA