MEP CA AB 1103

12 Months of Work from Home

COVID has had some interesting impacts on buildings of all types. For some buildings it has caused dramatic energy savings, but others have seen little change or even increases. A few observations we have seen across our ENERGY STAR portfolio this year.

Multifamily buildings for example are trending upwards. With people working from home and remote learning multifamily buildings have seen an increase in consumption during 2020-2021.

Office buildings have seen a more nuanced impact based on the building's tenants and use. Some buildings were able to make significant reduction by limiting HVAC usage in unoccupied zones and with occupancy sensors on lights while workers were remote. We did see some buildings stay the same since a space needs to be conditioned whether there is one worker in it or 100. The building engineers need to keep spaces comfortable so for buildings with limited zones or controls units sometimes needed to run as regular. A number of engineers told us they have been starting up the Air Handling Units earlier to flush out stale air and start circulation before workers arrive in the building.

Overall most office buildings saw a reduction in consumption, but the decreases were not substantial for all. An unfortunate side effect of this is that some of our borderline scoring Energy Star buildings did not qualify for awards this year. Since the score is dependent on worker counts and those were decreased to reflect work from home conditions the buildings that were not able to achieve significant energy savings sometimes dropped below the 75 point threshold. As buildings fill back up we anticipate these to become eligible for awards again.

Retail and Hotels saw their own sets of issues. Depending on their location some were disqualified due to the criteria not allowing more than a 60-day closure. While travel lagged many hotels also saw occupancy issues, but these were usually paired with decent energy savings.

Hopefully 2022 will look close to business as usual, but whatever the case we at MEP are here to help with all building benchmarking needs!

Posted by Maximum Energy Professionals "MEP", a mechanical engineering firm located in Torrance, CA. Sustainability Services, ENERGY STAR utility benchmarking and award certification, California AB802 Compliance, City of Los Angeles EBEWE Compliance, Utility Data Management Software dashboard, ASHRAE energy audits, LEED, energy conservation/green Mechanical-Electrical-Plumbing systems and equipment design. Call us at 310-782-1410 or visit our website at