CA Multi-Family Operators: Come June 1, You’ll Need to Report Your Energy Consumption

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – The Internet of Things isn’t just a data center topic. In fact, it’s one of the most exciting topics of discussion at CapRE’s multi-family summits as well. Case in point – the panel “Smart Buildings: Innovations in IoT, Energy Efficiency and Incentives to Lower Costs, Improve Time Management While Boosting ROI” at CapRE’s Fourth Annual Northern California Data Center Summit, which blew the roof off this topic, shining a beacon of light on the potential for a massive disruption in the multi-family space. Below, we highlight a brief up-close interview with panelist Marika Erdely, CEO of Green EconoME about some impending energy regulation that all multi-family operators should know about.

Moderator James Kilpatrick, President, NAI Northern California: I’ll shift a little bit back to what we started out talking about – which as sustainability. Maybe I could call on you, Marika. We have talked about legislation a little bit that has already come through, but has not been implemented yet. So maybe we could focus on that a little bit, as well as further legislation that is coming down the pipeline – which I tend to ignore until it’s passed, and they tell me that on X date, I’ve got a surprise coming. I’ve heard of it, but you told me that on June 1, 2019 we have a surprise coming?

Erdely: Yes. So the State of California has enacted an energy disclosure law, which was enacted in March of 2018. It’s call AB802. It requires all building in the state of California, starting with commercial buildings, to disclose their energy use. And it started June 1 of 2018. Starting June 1 of 2019, multi-family buildings that are over 50,000 square feet and have at least 17 residential meters must also comply. And again this is using the EPA’s EnergyStar portfolio manager software. So your multi-family building will receive an EnergyStar rating. The law only is focusing on energy disclosure. It will be a public disclosure. And AB802 is an annual law, so that means annual reporting.

Kilpatrick: Okay, let’s see. I own a building. It’s 50,000 square feet and probably 7 units give or take. Anything remotely newish is going to certainly have more than 17 meters, because it’s all probably going to be separately metered. And starting June 1st, what do I have to do? tell the residents?

Marika Erdely, CEO, Green EconoME

Erdely: It doesn’t have anything to do with the residents. The multi-family building owner would have to prepare their reports themselves or hire a consulting company similar to Green Economy. And you’re able to now access the data. All of it is called aggregate, whole building data – all the meters, the tenant meters and common area meters, can be received directly from the utilities portal (assuming you put in the proper documentation), and it will download all of that metered data into the software.

Kilpatrick: So for now, what do I have to do with that software?

Erdely: With the EPA’s EnergyStar software, you first set up the building, then you set up the meters, then you go into the utility and say please send all of this data from the meters into the software. And when the data comes in, it produces a score. That data is submitted to the California Energy Commission.

For more coverage of this panel, check out earlier CapRE Insider Reports: