As energy becomes more expensive and citizens ponder climate change, many jurisdictions are passing laws requiring energy benchmarking and reporting. Many of these laws differ from city to city, leaving building owners and property managers with uncertainty. Do we need an ASHRAE Level II Audit? How do we become ENERGY STAR certified? Are we compliant with local government regulations? How do I ensure compliance across my portfolio?

The specific city regulations can be viewed here and here. Did you know these energy regulations are mandatory and building owners are receiving fines for their lack of compliance? These costs are avoidable. Local law energy compliance pays off: The Institute for Market Transformation, which specializes in remedying energy-related market failures, estimates that every dollar spent on enforcing energy regulations results in six dollars of savings. Jurisdictions are spending more time and effort enforcing both new and existing regulations.

Able Services delivers solutions to over One Billion sq. ft. of real estate assets in the United States. In the summer of 2014 Able partnered with Goby LLC: a sustainability, technology, and consulting firm, with the goal of providing more value to their clients. Goby LLC is a top certifier of ENERGY STAR buildings (top 3 in the USA with 345 certified buildings in 2014). Working in tandem, Able operators and Goby LLC create #BetterRunBuildings.

Interested in staying compliant? If you are a user of SeaSuite, a simple sustainability software tool by Goby LLC, you don’t have to worry. Goby will ensure your property is compliant. Additionally, the cloud based program (SeaSuite) automatically tracks your buildings utilities data without the need for manual data entry and visually displays the information providing actionable insights, while also capable of tracking waste diversion, LEED certification, and LEED re-certification. Do you need assistance with Energy cost budgeting? SeaSuite can help with that too. Energy regulations typically require benchmarking. Benchmarks like ENERGY STAR allow property managers to see how their building measures up against comparable properties.  Any facility that obtains a score in the 75th percentile or higher is eligible for ENERGY STAR certification. ENERGY STAR certification is instrumental to getting LEED status.

The EPA theorizes that knowing where a property ranks in relationship to other properties is enough to spur efficiency initiatives that go beyond regulations. While it may help initiate thinking, merely knowing your rank doesn't drive change. Property managers need to know exactly why their property isn't meeting overall energy efficiency benchmarks. Some answers may be obvious -- poor insulation or an urgent need for building maintenance -- but others may be more difficult to catch.

Able’s operators have worked in tandem with Property Managers and building owners to create more efficiencies in facilities. Additionally, Able has worked with Goby LLC on numerous projects to deliver #BetterRunBuildings by reviewing data and digging deep into the building systems looking for more ways to optimize operations. It's a good bet that energy regulations will become more stringent and enforcement will continue to increase. In certain markets, owners and local municipalities are collaborating to create 2030 Districts which are “unique private/ public partnerships that bring property owners and managers together with local governments, businesses, and community stakeholders to provide a business model for urban sustainability through collaboration, leveraged financing, and shared resources.” Municipal benchmarking requirements are only the first step in a series of progressive actions by local governments to mandate more sustainable operations.

If you have more questions about energy regulations or how best to meet them, contact Able Services for these and other facility services needs.