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Nonresidential Building Energy Use Disclosure Program (AB 1103) and Utilities


Since 2007, there was a giant increase in the renewable and opportunity strength markets in California. At that point, Assemblywoman Lori Saldana drafted rules collectively with the Nonresidential Building Energy Use Disclosure Program (AB1103) to promote boom and exposure for the greening of our economic system. Part of the law contained language that would quickly provide one place of derision most of the population of California and the gasoline and electric powered groups taking walks their businesses. The language, “On and after January 1, 2009, electric and gasoline utilities shall keep data of the electricity consumption information of all nonresidential buildings to which they offer carrier. This truth shall be maintained, in a layout well matched for uploading to America Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager, for as a minimum the maximum cutting-edge 3 hundred and sixty-5 days” (Saldana, 2007) furnished a foundation for destiny dialogue at the pathway to implementation for the regulation.

As an employer proprietor actively concerned inside the make the most of such law, I without a doubt have paid specific interest to the various troubles which have arisen in the public debate. I even have recognized three predominant areas of the examination. The first being of these areas is the issues of enforcement at the gas and electricity software degree. The next vicinity is problems of enforcement on the building proprietor diploma and, in the end, the problem in working with the California Energy Commission and the federal business enterprise of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). All 3 aspects present precise challenges transferring in the direction of adoption. The diverse stakeholders’ felony and moral requirements are juxtaposed, and the impacts and reactions provide remark on the technique because it unfolds.

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My enterprise has witnessed and participated in all three areas of exploration. From beta finding out the EPA Portfolio Manager device utilized in AB1103 to position weather, alternate has staked my employer in this system. The sluggish convalescing economic system that modified into especially dysfunctional at the industrial capital markets has contributed at every flip to discontinuity, confusion, and adoption. From the application attitude, a case is made that such commercial law is unreasonable to its functionality to the feature. With such a myriad of disorders and competing for preferred results, it is clear that AB1103 posted substantial and unexpected departments inner California.


There are 3 number one areas of the mission that may all be considered from awesome views counting on in case you are an Owner, an employer of the nation/federal authorities, or a public software. In California, we’ve got Investor Owned Utilities (IOU). These public utilities are described as, “Any business enterprise that presents offerings to most people, although it can be privately owned. Public utilities include electrically powered, gas, phone, water, and television cable systems, similarly to streetcar and bus lines. They are allowed certain monopoly rights because they want to serve whole geographic regions with one tool. Still, they may be regulated by using a rustic, county and/or city public application commissions underneath country laws” (Hill & Hill, 2014). The 3 essential subject matters strolling via each place of a hassle handling monetary, era, and philosophical issues.

First, allow us to have a look at most of the people software attitude of coping with federal and country businesses. The IOUs have staked their role through sorting out the legalities of AB1103. “The first worried capability aggregation of entire building statistics for release into the owner’s Portfolio Manager account. The IOUs frequently mentioned the so-referred to as “15/15” rule as a limit to aggregation. The 15/15 Rule (CPUC Decision 90 seven-10-031) turns out to be advanced by using the CPUC to permit utilities to launch aggregated records to the majority in sure court cases. The rule calls for aggregation to include at least 15 issuer debts from first-rate clients and that no person provider account might also account for 15% or more of the complete power usage. However, as supported via using statements from the CPUC prison professional for the meetings’ duration, the 15/15 Rule does not observe the AB 1103 regulations. Second, the IOUs expressed mission regarding section 8380 of the Public Utilities Code and state-of-the-art CPUC guidelines about shielding purchaser identity in smart grid data. (CPUC Decision (eleven-07-056), Attachment D.) Staff recommends for the Energy Commission said that section 8380 allows for the release of power use facts to conform with a country law, including AB 1103. (Pub. Util. Code, § 8380, sub. (e) (three).)” (Mayer, 2012). Here we’ve got push back from the IOUs as they’re seeking clarification in the direction of the implementation of AB 1103. The tactic to gradual down the adoption of AB 1103 come to be driven via felony clarification on the definitions, limits, and scope. Here are a few examples:

Portfolio Manager’s definition grows to be modified as follows: “U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s” replaced “EPA’s” to eliminate the want to outline the acronym.
The definition of Prospective Buyer changed into brought to make clear at what level a capability client of a nonresidential constructing is entitled to accumulate energy use disclosures.
The definition of Prospective Lender became added to make clean to what diploma a capability lender financing a whole nonresidential building is entitled to gather power use disclosures.
The definition of Prospective Lessee end up delivered to make clear at what level a capability lessee of an entire nonresidential building is entitled to collect strength use disclosures.

The term Square Feet and its definition have been deleted as useless because section 1682 changed into changed to embody evidence of the time period, thereby obviating the want for a separate definition. (Rulemaking, 2013)

Another issue to take care of if thinking about the IOU attitude is the lack of era to adopt AB1103. The funding inside the technology to create techniques and management for the decision for facts is extensive. When considering that the IOUs are an enterprise, it turns into difficult to vicinity the expectancy on them to voluntary look at diminishing their business prowess with the useful resource of making they surrender users lots less likely to buy from them.

Next, allow us to look at the relation of AB1103 among IOUs and the constructing owners. Here a lack of training and philosophical congruence acts as a high hurdle to adoption. Where does the obligation fall whilst determining who has to be responsible for schooling the constructing proprietors on the way to comply and sooner or later leveraging AB1103 for the promised monetary gains upon this regulation modified into the built round? One entity closely monitoring this for building proprietors has been the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA). The function of BOMA has been capable of artwork with the IOUs to lessen the effect on constructing proprietors. In an ultra-modern replaces, BOMA has gained these allowances from the California Energy Commission based totally on the Commissions oversight of the IOS:

The Energy Commission will now not require the disclosure or reporting of the Facility Summary Report.
If records are lacking from disclosure, and if the owner has made an inexpensive attempt to look at the missing records, the proprietor can also then use an approximation of the statistics, provided that the approximation is recognized as such, is affordable, is based on the notable statistics to be had to the proprietor, and isn’t used to circumvent or evade this text.

The Energy Commission is comparing alternatives to amend the rules. (Loyer, 2013)

Again, we’re faced with a large unexpected roadblock inside the route of adoption. The governance of the IOUs is inherently linked to the espousal and clarification of the California Energy Commission, which gives steerage to the California Public Utility Commission that ultimately speaks for the IOUs. The constructing owners have realized that any extra expenses or procedural compliance can be staved off with the resource of becoming a member of the IOUs in muddying problems also aligned with those of the US, all over again to the benefit of the IOUs.

Lastly, we observe the federal mindset and the EPA’s function in handling an IOU attitude. Aside from the extended monetary instability of the USA economic system, the monetary capital markets collapsing, and their gradual recovery having dwindled adoption of AB1103, larger trouble exists this is woven within the one’s troubles. Within cash-strapped confines, “The EPA is remaining in on the scheduled launch in their newly upgraded Energy Star Portfolio Manager so one can make benchmarking constructing energy overall performance greater, for loss of a higher phrase, efficient.

The improvement will embody modifications to the database structure, machine processing, internet offerings, and user interface. All changes are being made with an overarching cause of improving functionality and value for all parties. The first-rate for the Portfolio Manager consumer is that the net offerings officially referred to as Automated Benchmarking Services (ABS), will have a today’s software design to simplify the way of replacing facts with Portfolio Manager” (Segan, 2013).

Imagine the office work of adopting a government rollout of the technology. Current information headlines yet again retell the tale, “Government Tech Problems: Blame the People or the Process?” (Hu, 2014). “President Obama has said over and over that government desire to enhance the manner it procures and uses generics. But so far, the White House hasn’t positioned out any specific plans to address the problem” (Hu, 2014). Here we take a look at the final part of the puzzle of competition. The IOUs are yet again armed with a further cause to gradual down adoption of AB1103. The philosophical problem of Climate Change, together with a lack of era, and economics are abjectly tied together on this final difficulty.


To summarize, the quagmire of dissenting opinion on the implementation of AB 1103 is being perpetrated thru the IOUs, at the beginning deemed to assist it. The problems are clean, and yet little has been accomplished to remedy their impact on the population of California. Is climate alternate real? How can we get an enterprise to damage itself and remain inside criminal limitations? Who is answerable for disseminating the level of training vital to fully embody the regulation that is meant to provide a boost to Californians? These are the 3 full-size subjects affecting the federal and state businesses, the building proprietors themselves, and the IOUs tasked with the usage of the way. Traditional business organization frameworks are being exhorted to new paradigms, the outcomes of macro-level financial instability keep to squeeze all activities, and an elegant malaise exists for education on such topics at the same time as specific economic factors which include retaining the doors open all preside within the vanguard of all events.

AB1103 turned into meant as a boon to California. What has advanced is any other instance of the power and impact of agency America dictating the what, who, and when of our lives. Originally set to begin in 2009, the cutting-edge postponement has AB1103 becoming active truely this 12 months (2014) and for nice specific and slender members. As mentioned above, even the enforcement has been mitigated to a satisfactory attempt repute. It is likewise clear that at the time of manifestation, the IOUs had been going to be located to discourage AB1103 adoption with a myriad of prison wrangling and inefficiencies in the office work of its governance environment.

It is now upon the man or woman California to resume our efforts at preserving the IOUs answerable for those reputedly unethical approaches at the adoption of AB1103. Subsequent regulations inclusive of AB531 has been drafted to clarify positioning on AB1103, however not to the advantage of the populace of California. More and greater political partisanship has created a cloud of bewilderment and mistrust inside the implementation of AB1103. From the evidence collected, it’s miles obvious that the very entities IOUs on the center of the implementation of AB1103 are the drivers of maximum if no longer all of the problems. Push lower back at every turn has come about to the detriment of Californians. Where and the manner this system ends up does genuinely lie with the IOUs? Either manner, it’s miles safe to mention that the larger issue of the greening of an economic system will prioritize corporate gain. This paradigm shift toward sustainable practices is stressful past everybody’s purview. Our lives or, in reality, our kids’ lives are at stake, and nothing can forestall us from converting the human beings’ will or, as a minimum, this small industrial agency owner’s.


  • Hill, G., & Hill, K. (2014, January 28). Legal Dictionary.
  • Hu, E. (2014, January 9). Government.
  • Loyer, J. (2013, August 29). Uploads.
  • Mayer, R. M. (2012, November 26). Rulemaking.
  • Rulemaking. (2013, March). /2013-03-08_Final_Statement_of_Reasons_TN-69881.Pdf
  • Saldana, L. (2007). Nonresidential Building Energy Use Disclosure Program (AB1103). Sacramento: California Energy Commission.
  • Segan, D. (2013, June 07). Energy Star Portfolio Manager Upgrade: What Is It?

Michael Vargas is the founder and vital representative of Atlas Project Support. This San Diego County-based, totally complete corporation makes a specialty of electricity conservation, sustainable building practices, and preconstruction offerings for public and private clients. Michael holds each academic and enterprise credential and has more than 13 years of production and project control enjoy.

In addition to his consulting enterprise, Michael is a Professor at the Donald R. Tapia School of Business at Saint Leo University, a Catholic University placed in Florida, and the San Diego State University College of Extended Studies. This academic aspect resonates at some stage in Michael’s professional life as he moreover conducts education in sustainable business practices for companies and agencies. Michael additionally donates his efforts in a useful resource of the San Diego State Foundation Energy Innovations Small Grant Technology Transfer Program at the Lavin Center as an MBA pupil mentor.

Mr. Vargas is presently a Doctor of Education in Leadership Studies Candidate at Creighton University. Vargas earned a Masters in Business Administration, a Masters in Project Management, and a Graduate Certificate in Financial Analysis from the Keller Graduate School of Management. Michael completed a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at San Diego State University and a Certificate in Green Building and Construction.

Jeffery D. Silvers
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