New Commercial Building Energy Efficiency Code for San Francisco

COMMERCIAL and all non residential buildings in San Francisco, U.S.A., will now have to report their energy use publicly, and take steps to become ever more energy efficient.

San Francisco’s mayor, Edwin Lee, signed ‘The Existing Commercial Building Energy Performance Ordinance’ last Friday, which requires that existing commercial buildings make their energy-usage reports available to the public annually, with buildings over 10,000 square feet having to complete an energy efficiency audit every five years.

Lee said in a statement: “San Francisco needs to increase the energy and resource efficiency of existing buildings if we are going to meet our aggressive greenhouse gas reduction targets. This new green building code will educate building owners about what they need to do to save energy and money, and boost our local green economy.”

Across the U.S. buildings account for around 70 percent of the electricity consumed, and estimates reckon they could be made up to 50 percent more energy efficient with currently available products and services.

Reports reveal that energy efficient buildings sell for more money, command higher rents and also have lower vacancy rates than less efficient buildings. Studies show that most building owners do not know how energy efficient their buildings are, which means they or their tenants have no way to compare the energy use and energy costs of their buildings.

Benchmarking a buildings energy performance is the critical first step towards improving energy efficiency, and many cities, states and countries are beginning to enforce building owners to take this responsibility.

San Francisco adopted a climate action plan in 2002 with the target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent below the 1990 levels by 2012, but this new code will not have a full affect until 2013; the target for the gradual roll out of this policy.

Picture of San Francisco by xk1sv

Tuesday 22nd February 2011

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