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L.A.’s new ordinance requires energy and water efficiency benchmarking

Structures 20,000 sf and larger must demonstrate steps to boost efficiency.
JUNE 26, 2017 |



The City of Los Angeles recently passed an ordinance requiring buildings of 20,000 sf or more to take steps to improve energy and water efficiency.

Structures of that size must:

  • Benchmark their use of energy and water consumption
  • Provide this information to the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety
  • Demonstrate steps being taken to reduce energy and water consumption

In Los Angeles 4% of the city’s buildings are responsible for half of the total energy used in the city, so this ordinance could have a significant impact on consumption. Building owners must benchmark their energy and water use using the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager.

Facilities will be able to compare their use of energy and water to comparably sized buildings. The ordinance also lets building owners know about and take advantage of tax incentives that help reduce consumption.

“The program will be phased in over the next two years and while it is somewhat involved, there are many benefits to building owners,” says Klaus Reichardt, Founder, and CEO of Waterless Co., a manufacturer of no-water urinals and other restroom.



Energy Star Fun Facts





No, the system has its own cellular gateway that connects to BuildingAdvice’s data center.

You will probably need to work with them to acquire utility bills, but should not need their involvement beyond that. However, in some situations, utilities may offer rebates for energy efficiency efforts, in which case you might need to coordinate with them.

This is up to individual service providers. We prefer using language that distinguishes what you are doing from outright performance contracts (the ESCO model.) Many of our customers tell their clients that they will stand behind a prediction of at least 10% savings.

The ROI for large-scale, ASHRAE level 3 audits in smaller buildings is usually lower because the payback may not justify the price of this traditional audit. BuildingAdvice, on the other hand, works very well in these small to mid-sized buildings. By automating many aspects of the energy assessment process and focusing on the low- and no-cost savings opportunities and the largest energy-consuming systems in buildings, the BuildingAdvice system is able to help achieve a high ROI in small and mid-sized buildings.

Carbon footprint, a measure of the estimated emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) from a set of activities, is becoming increasingly significant to businesses (and individuals) who have corporate sustainability initiatives, goals to go green, or carbon emission caps on their manufacturing processes. If/when a carbon credit cap and trade system develops, carbon footprint will matter even more as carbon credits will become an asset that businesses will be able to sell at a premium to other, non-complying businesses.

This applies well for light industrial clients who would be able to combine service contracts and save money overall. It makes sense for the company supplying and maintaining your equipment to be the ones that, while inside an air handler, for example, also change filters, check schedules, clean coils, etc. to maximize energy savings as well.

Yes. Fixtures are constantly being re-engineered to be more water and energy efficient. Properties more than a few years old could benefit from these emerging technologies, and Sustain-Ability Solutions can audit your property to see where the most valuable upgrades can be made. We can provide an estimate of your water savings and cash-flow improvement.

Please fill out the Contact Us form if you have additional questions.

Feel free to call us at 1-888-657-7582. We’ll ask you some questions and determine if a water audit is beneficial for you.

The utility savings from your upgrades can pay back the original cost in as little as 6 to 18 months – and with water/sewer cost increasing an average of 5 percent each year, your water-savings program is a wise investment.

No. We install brand new, high-efficiency plumbing fixtures to maximize results. The quality and technology of these new fixtures result in little-to-no performance loss.

No. We work quickly and effectively to manage complex projects, so your property will remain fully operational with minimal downtime per unit.


July Video Highlight: Nitrogen generators from Potter Electric

In this issue…

* Integrating electrical, HVAC for energy


* Mixed-use buildings

* ASHRAE 90.4

* Wireless fire alarms

* Digital Edition Exclusive Content: 

* Replacing an EPSS at a hospital

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