California Sets Schedule for Non-Residential Building Energy Disclosures

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In furtherance of its ongoing efforts to promote energy efficiency, California has implemented a new requirement that owners or operators of non-residential buildings disclose a building’s past energy use data to prospective buyers, lessees or lenders of the building before the sale, lease, financing or refinancing of the property.

The framework for these disclosures has been in place since 2007, when California enacted Section 25402.10 of the Public Resources Code, which provides for collaboration between electric and gas utilities and building owners in order to document and disclose the energy consumption of non-residential buildings. Since 2009, electric and gas utilities in California have been required to maintain records of the energy consumption data of all non-residential buildings that they serve in a format that is compatible for uploading to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager, and property owners have had the ability to authorize the utility to upload their building’s energy consumption data to the Energy Star Portfolio Manager website. Once a building owner has had its building’s energy consumption data uploaded, Section 25402.10 requires the owner or operator of a non-residential building, on a schedule to be developed by the California Energy Commission, to disclose the Energy Star Portfolio Manager’s benchmarking data and ratings for the most recent 12-month period to a prospective buyer, lessee of the entire building or lender financing the entire building.

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