FAQs, Links & Videos

Frequently Asked Questions

General Compliance

Do I have to benchmark and report my building?

Building owners are responsible for annual benchmarking and reporting of whole-building energy and water consumption for covered buildings in the City of Los Angeles. Covered buildings include stand-alone, privately owned buildings 20,000 SF or more and City owned buildings 7,500 SF or more, and should be reported separately and according to reporting deadlines. Stand-alone privately owned buildings under 20,000 SF and City owned buildings under 7,500 SF are not subject to Ordinance requirements. See Section 91.9703 of the Ordinance for details on covered and exempt buildings and Section 91.9708.1. for the benchmarking report compliance schedule.

Are new buildings subject to Ordinance benchmarking requirements?

Yes, however, building owners are not required to file a benchmarking report if the building did not have a Certificate of Occupancy, Temporary Certificate of Occupancy or energy and water services for the entire calendar year required to be benchmarked. See Section 91.9705.3 for Ordinance scope details. 

What is a Building ID and why is it important? 

The Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety (LADBS) assigns each building a Building ID, a unique identifier needed to register with LADBS and to identify buildings in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. Building IDs are provided in the Ordinance notification letter from LADBS. If you did not receive your notification letter listing your Building ID, submit an inquiry here and we will connect you directly with LADBS.

What is a Property ID?

The Property ID is different from the Building ID, and can be found in your ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager account under your property's name and address in the top navigation bar. The Property ID is entered to request data from SoCalGas. 

My building or building site has multiple Building IDs. Which one should I use in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager?

The City is developing additional guidance, and working to align the local Ordinance with State law.  Please sign up for updates here.  If you have an immediate question, please submit an inquiry here and we will connect you directly with LADBS.  While guidance is being developed, it is advisable to proceed with gathering the information that you will need in order to comply with the Ordinance.  Please see our QuickStart Guides for more information. 

My property has separate structured parking with a unique Building ID. Which ID should I use to report?

The City is developing additional guidance, and working to align the local ordinance with State law.  Please sign up for updates here.  If you have an immediate question, please submit an inquiry here and we will connect you directly with LADBS.  While guidance is being developed, it is advisable to proceed with gathering the information that you will need in order to comply with the ordinance.  Please see our QuickStart Guides for more information. 

Benchmarking

How do I add a virtual meter and maintain existing data in my ESPM account?

To add a virtual meter to accept aggregate data, while maintaining existing data in your ESPM account, follow the instructions here.

What is a benchmarking report?

A report, generated by ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, summarizing the whole-building energy and water performance of a building for the prior calendar year. Benchmarking reports for privately owned buildings with a gross floor area of 100,000 SF or more, and publicly owned buildings with a gross floor area of 7,500 or more, must be submitted to the LA Department of Building and Safety by July 1, 2017. Reports are sent electronically from Portfolio Manager to the LA Department of Building and Safety, containing the data listed in the report template.

The Ordinance authorizes the Department of Building and Safety to make following information available to the public on the internet, as reported by building owners:

  1. Summary statistics on overall compliance
  2. Summary statistics on overall energy and water consumption of buildings subject to benchmarking requirements, derived from aggregation of annual benchmarking reports; and
  3. For each building subject to benchmarking requirements:
    • Building address and property use type;
    • Annual summary statistics for the whole building derived from the submitted benchmarking report 
    • The status of compliance with benchmarking requirements.

      See Section 91.9705.4. for full details on publication of limited summary data.

What software tool is used for benchmarking and reporting?

ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager is the free, online tool used for benchmarking and reporting. ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager is used to measure and track energy and water consumption. Learn more in the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager overview here.

How often do I need to benchmark my building?

Privately owned buildings 100,000 SF or more  must submit benchmarking reports by July 1, 2017. Ongoing reports are due annually by April 1, following the initial year that benchmarking reports were due (see reporting deadlines here). Please note that benchmarking deadlines are subject to change, and sign up here to receive updates. See Section 91.9708.1 for the benchmarking report compliance schedule.

Does my building square footage include parking areas?

Any structured parking associated with your building should be included in the building data and square footage calculations, and benchmarked with the building. Surface parking is excluded from the Ordinance requirements. If you have a building specific question, please submit an inquiry here and we will connect you directly with LADBS.

How should I classify my property or building type?

Property owners can designate their property use type, or allow ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager to determine. Property use types have varying requirements (e.g., the use must be 50% or more of gross floor area). Refer to “Property Types, Definitions and Use Details” for further information. Use the Data Collection Worksheet to gather the specific information you will need to benchmark your property. Buildings that contain a variety of commercial and/or residential uses where no individual use accounts for more than 50% of the property are considered “mixed-use properties.” Note that if more than 10% of a building’s gross floor area is vacant, the vacant square footage should be described as a distinct space type.

How do I obtain the whole-building utility data?

Whole-building aggregate data is available from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and SoCalGas. See How to Comply guides for next steps in obtaining your building data.

What is the difference between occupancy and vacancy?

Occupancy refers to the percentage of your property gross floor area that is occupied and operational. If you have people working in all floors/areas of your building then you are 100% occupied. You do not need to count empty cubicle spaces – but, you do want to make sure your number of workers is correct when tenant usage patterns change. Vacancy refers to a portion of the building that is not in use. This is not a few empty cubicles but rather a suite or entire floor that is not leased or occupied. When more than 10% of your property is vacant, you are required to create a separate “Vacant Space” property use for certain property types

Does occupancy rate affect my score, and how do I report changes?

The value you enter for occupancy rate will not affect your ENERGY STAR score or any other metric. However, this value could affect your eligibility for ENERGY STAR  Certification as certain property types have minimum occupancy rate requirements. You can adjust your occupancy rate on the "Details" tab under "Basic Information" in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager.

Energy & Water Audits and Retro-Commissioning

Do I have to get an energy and water audit?

Yes, beginning July 1, 2019 and according to the schedule here, building owners or representatives will have to prove that a building is energy and water efficient or that it is on a pathway to efficiency. Click here to see how to comply with performance requirements. See Section 91.9708.2 for the schedule for audits and retro-commissioning report compliance.

How often do I have to show my building is energy and water efficient?

Every five years after the initial deadline. Your initial deadline for showing performance is based on the assessor’s parcel number of your building. The schedule for performance reporting is provided here. See Section 91.9708.2 for the schedule for audits and retro-commissioning report compliance.

Are new buildings subject to the Ordinance’s performance requirements?

Energy audits and retro-commissioning are not required for buildings that are new and have been occupied for less than five years from their first due date, based on the Temporary Certificate of Occupancy, or Certificate of Occupancy. See Section 91.9706.2.3 Exemptions #4 in the Ordinance. 

Links

FreshStart Guide

HeadStart Guide

FastStart Guide - Start Here if You are New to ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager

LADWP Energy and Water Saving Rebates & Programs

LADWP Building Benchmarking Form

How to Add a Virtual Meeting

SoCalGas Energy Saving Rebates & Programs

SoCalGas Benchmarking Usage Request Form

Is your Property Located in the City of LA? Verify on NavigateLA

Existing Buildings Energy and Water Efficiency Ordinance

LADBS Building Information Online

LA County Assessor - AIN Lookup

Resource Center Newsletter - July 2017

Template Letter of Authorization