MEP CA AB 1103

AB-802 Update

You may have heard the recent news that California energy benchmarking and reporting law AB-802's start date has been pushed back. While the bill remains the same the implementation of the bill has undergone a number of changes. Maximum Energy Professionals "MEP" attended the California Energy Commission's staff workshop to get the handle on the bill's details and the shifting timeline for its implementation.

California AB-802 is an energy benchmarking and disclosure law that is replacing previous benchmarking bill AB-1103. Unlike AB-1103, however, CA AB-802 does not require a triggering event like a sale or refinance to necessitate a benchmark. Instead it sets a square footage threshold (50,000 square feet) and requires all buildings larger than that to complete an annual benchmark using ENERGY STAR's portfolio manager. Not only does the bill necessitate benchmarking, but the commercial data will also be publicly disclosed to further incentivize property owners and operators to decrease their energy footprint.

One other thing the bill does, that many in the benchmarking business will likely appreciate, is that it allows for building owners to obtain tenant utility data directly from utilities. Anyone who has completed an ENERGY STAR application or benchmarked a multi-tenant building knows how arduous it can be to collect a year of bills from each individual tenant. AB-802 makes a few allowances for building owners to obtain the entirety of their building data. For multi-tenant residential buildings no permission is required to be obtained from tenants to request utilities from the provider. In commercial buildings tenant consent will be required for buildings with 3 tenants or fewer. If there are greater than three tenants, however, the building owner may submit a request to the utility provider and receive full-building data. A few things must be provided in order to submit a data request though. The following must be provided along with the data request to the utility provider in order to obtain full-building data:

  • The building's address.
  • Building Identification number.
  • Information that verifies the person submitting the request is the building owner or the owner's agent.
  • Indication of whether the building has a utility account servicing multiple postal addresses and if so the number of unique postal addresses served by the account
  • Indication of whether the request is made for compliance with the Benchmarking and Public Disclosure requirements.

There are a few exceptions to the bill even for buildings over 50,000 square feet. Per the CEC document "Initial Proposal to Implement Building Energy Use Data Access, Benchmarking, and Public Disclosure Provisions of Assembly Bill 802 (Williams) (2015)" the following examples are exempt from reporting and disclosure:
  • The building did not have a certificate of occupancy or temporary certificate of occupancy during the calendar year for which reporting to the Energy Commission is required.
  • The building is scheduled to be demolished one year or less from the reporting date.
  • The building is covered by a local building Energy use benchmarking program listed on the Energy Commission website.

As for the timeline the legislations implementation will follow the CEC has provided the following dates (though the dates after January 2017 are listed as tentative projections and may be subject to change):
  • January 1, 2016 - Utilities will be required to maintain energy use data for buildings served.
  • January 1, 2017 - Utilities must provide energy use data to buildings upon request of the building owner or building owner agent.
  • April 1, 2018 - Commercial building reporting to CEC begins.
  • April 1, 2019 Multi-family residential building reporting begins.
  • September 1, 2019 - Commercial data publicly disclosed.

Building owners will likely want to know what information will be made available to the public. A full list of the information that the energy commission may make available on a public website can be found within the regulation's draft notes on the California Energy Commission's website at

We are striving to keep our clients up to date on the information as it changes, but this is the most recent information we have been able to obtain regarding AB 802. You can expect us to notify you should there be further changes or alterations to the timeline of the bill's implementation. For more detailed information regarding California AB 802 please reference the California Energy Commission's website listed above.

Most of our commercial and industrial customers use the ENERGY STAR program on a voluntary basis to benchmark and award certify their buildings. They appreciate the ability to assess their gas and electric utility usage as compared to their peers on a nation-wide basis, and also like the recognition they receive that comes with the ENERGY STAR label on their buildings. The California Energy Commission is delaying the mandatory commercial reporting until January 2018 in the hopes that building owners and managers will proceed on a voluntary basis in 2017 and become accustomed to the process by the time it becomes mandatory in January 2018. We recommend that all of our California customers get ahead of the new CA AB 802 legislation, take the initiative, and start benchmarking today!

For information on ENERGY STAR utility benchmarking and award certification, energy audits, LEED, and energy conservation mechanical-electrical-plumbing design, please give us a call at 310-782-1410 or visit our website at