City of LA: EBEWE

Existing Buildings Energy & Water Efficiency (EBEWE) ordinance

In order to lower the use of energy, water and greenhouse gas emissions citywide, the City of Los Angeles requires existing commercial and multi-family buildings to be: benchmarked, audited, retrofitted and/or retro-commissioned. Annual benchmarking requirements began in 2017. Verified actual reductions in energy and water use are required, starting in 2019, and then every five years.

Step 1: Benchmarking

A benchmarking report (generated by the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager software), summarizing the annual energy and water performance of a building, is now required annually. Compliance for annual energy and water benchmarking is required for all privately owned buildings 20,000 sq. ft. and above.

Notes: This Benchmarking Disclosure will not be tied to a financial transaction. The square footage requirement pertains to an entire building. i.e. multiple buildings on a single parcel added together exceeding 20,000 sq. ft. would not require compliance.

Step 2: Compliance

All buildings over 20,000 sq. ft. must undergo an Energy Audit and Retro-commissioning:

A) Energy Audit: The in-depth identification and documentation of a building’s energy and water-use equipment. An energy audit examines existing conditions to pinpoint potential areas of improvement for energy and water efficiency. Must meet or exceed ASHRAE Level 2 standards.

B) Retro-commissioning: Focus will be on the maintenance and repairs identified by the Energy Audit.

EXEMPTIONS

All exemptions must be certified by, or performed under the supervision of, a California licensed professional engineer or architect. 3fficient is fully qualified to provide exemptions when applicable.

Buildings that meet one of the below exemptions do not have to go through an Energy Audit and Retro-commissioning.

Energy:

  • The building has reduced its water use intensity by at least 20% when compared to the five years prior to the building’s compliance due date.
  • Buildings without central cooling systems that have completed four of six energy efficiency measures listed in the EBEWE guidelines within the 5 year compliance cycle being reported.
  • The building’s water use conforms to the LA Municipal and Title 24 Code in effect at any time during the five year compliance cycle.
  • The building is new and has been occupied for less than five years from its occupancy date based on the Temporary or final Certificate of Occupancy.

Water:

  • Buildings that have received Energy Star Certification from the EPA for the year of the building’s compliance due date, or for two of the three years preceding the building’s compliance due date.
  • For buildings not eligible to receive an Energy Star score, the energy performance of the building must be 25% better than the national median energy performance of similar buildings. Energy performance calculations and comparisons are generated by Energy Star Portfolio Manager.
  • The building has reduced its Source Energy Use Intensity (EUI) by 15% when compared to the five years before a building’s compliance due date.
  • Buildings without central cooling systems that have completed four of six energy efficiency measures listed in the EBEWE guidelines within the 5 year compliance cycle being reported.

City Filing Fees:

Filing fees are city administrative fees for filing compliance reports with the city. They are in addition to engineering fees for technical services.

  • Annual Disclosure Compliance Fee (Sec. 91.9710.1) City will charge the building owner $61 for each Annual Benchmarking Report submitted to the Department.
  • Audit and Retro-Commissioning Compliance Fee (Sec. 91.9710.2) City will charge the building owner $183 for each Confirmation of Audit and Retro-Commissioning submitted to the Department during a five year compliance cycle.

Failure to comply with this ordinance shall subject the building owner to (compounding) noncompliance fees as specified in Section 98.0411 of the LA Municipal Code, except that the amount of the fee shall be $202. This fee is subject to double digit interest each month.

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