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


Since 2007, there has been a giant increase in California’s renewable and alternative electricity markets. At that point, Assemblywoman Lori Saldana drafted rules with the Nonresidential Building Energy Use Disclosure Program (AB1103) to promote increase and exposure for the greening of our financial system. Part of the law contained language that would quickly provide one vicinity of ridicule among the populace of California and the gas and electric companies strolling their organizations. The language, “On and after January 1, 2009, electric and gas utilities shall keep data of the energy intake facts of all nonresidential buildings to which they offer carrier. This fact shall be maintained, in a layout compatible for uploading to the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager, for as a minimum the most current three hundred and sixty-five days” (Saldana, 2007) provided a foundation for future discussion at the pathway to implementation for the legislation.

As an enterprise owner actively concerned about making the most of such regulation, I have paid specific attention to the diverse problems that have arisen in the public debate. I even have diagnosed three principal areas of the exam. The first being of those areas is the enforcement problems at the gas and energy software degree. The next place is difficulties of enforcement at the building proprietor degree and, in the end, the issue in operating with the California Energy Commission and the federal agency of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). All three aspects present particular challenges in transferring toward adoption. The diverse stakeholders’ legal and moral requirements are juxtaposed, and the influences and reactions provide remarks on the technique as it unfolds.

My company has witnessed and taken part in all three areas of exploration. From beta checking out the EPA Portfolio Manager device used in AB1103 to positioning on weather, change has staked my company in this process. The slow-recovering financial system that became especially dysfunctional in the commercial capital markets has contributed to discontinuity, confusion, and adoption at every turn. From the utility attitude, a case is made that such commercial regulation is unreasonable to its capability to the characteristic. With any such dysfunction and competing for favored consequences, it is clear that AB1103 posted a sizeable and unexpected department inside California.

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There are three regions of the challenge, which could all be considered from awesome views relying on an Owner, an agency of the state/federal government, or public software. In California, we’ve got Investor Owned Utilities (IOU). These public utilities are defined as “Any agency which affords services to most people, although it can be privately owned. Public utilities consist of electric-powered, fuel, smartphone, water, and television cable systems, in addition to streetcar and bus traces. They are allowed sure monopoly rights due to the realistic need to carrier whole geographic regions with one device. Still, they’re regulated using country, county, and town public utility commissions underneath kingdom laws” (Hill & Hill, 2014). The three essential subject matters stroll through every vicinity of a problem dealing with monetary, technological, and philosophical troubles.

First, allow us to study the general public utility attitude of managing federal and kingdom organizations. The IOUs have staked their role by checking out the legalities of AB1103. “The first involved capability aggregation of entire constructing information for launch into the owner’s Portfolio Manager account. The IOUs often mentioned the so-called “15/15” rule as a restriction to aggregation. The 15/15 Rule (CPUC Decision ninety-seven-10-031) becomes advanced through the CPUC to enable utilities to release aggregated data to the general public in certain complaints. The rule requires aggregation to include at least 15 provider accounts from exceptional clients and that no character provider account might also account for 15% or extra of the entire electricity usage. However, as supported by statements from the CPUC legal professional throughout the conferences, the 15/15 Rule no longer applies to the AB 1103 rules. Second, the IOUs expressed a challenge concerning section 8380 of the Public Utilities Code and the latest CPUC policies about protecting purchaser identification in clever grid data. (CPUC Decision (11-07-056), Attachment D.) Staff recommends that the Energy Commission state that section 8380 permits the release of strength use facts to comply with a country’s law, including AB 1103. (Pub. Util. Code, § 8380, sub. (e) (3).)” (Mayer, 2012). Here we’ve got to ward off the IOUs as they seek rationalization toward implementing AB 1103. The tactic to slow the adoption of AB 1103 becomes driven through legal clarification on the definitions, limits, and scope. Here are a few examples:

The definition of Portfolio Manager has changed as follows: “U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s” replaced “EPA’s” to do away with the need to outline the acronym. The definition of Prospective Buyer changed to clarify at what stage a capability purchaser of a nonresidential construction is entitled to acquire power use disclosures. The prospective Lender’s purpose was to clarify to what degree a capability lender financing an entire nonresidential construction is entitled to accept power use disclosures. The purpose of a Prospective Lessee becomes brought to make clear at what level a potential lessee of a whole nonresidential construction is entitled to obtain energy use disclosures. The period Square Feet and its definition were deleted as useless because segment 1682 changed to encompass an explanation of the term, thereby obviating the need for a separate report. (Rulemaking, 2013)

Another difficulty in considering the IOU angle is the shortage of era to adopt AB1103. The funding in the period to create techniques and management for the call for statistics is widespread. Considering that the IOUs are an enterprise, it turns hard to assess the expectancy of them to voluntarily observe diminishing their business prowess by making them give up users much less likely to buy from them.

Next, let us examine the relation of AB1103 between IOUs and the building owners. A lack of schooling and philosophical unity is a prime hurdle to adoption. Where does the duty fall when determining who must be liable for educating the constructing owners on how to comply and finally leveraging AB1103 for the promised economic gains upon this regulation changed into constructed around? The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) has closely monitored this for building owners. The position of BOMA has been capable of paintings with the IOUs to reduce the effect on building proprietors. In the latest replaces, BOMA has won these allowances from the California Energy Commission based totally on the Commission’s oversight of the IOUS:

The Energy Commission will not require the disclosure or reporting of the Facility Summary Report.
If data are lacking from disclosure, and if the proprietor has made an inexpensive effort to examine the missing information, the owner can also then use an approximation of the records, supplied that the approximation is diagnosed as such, is reasonable, is based on the high-quality statistics to be had to the owner, and isn’t always used for the reason of circumventing or evading this article. The Energy Commission is comparing options to amend the rules. (Loyer, 2013)

Again, we are confronted with a huge unforeseen roadblock in adoption. The governance of the IOUs is inherently connected to the espousal and rationalization of the California Energy Commission, which affords guidance to the California Public Utility Commission that speaks for the IOUs in the long run. The constructing owners have realized that any additional costs or procedural compliance may be staved off with the aid of becoming a member of the IOUs in muddying troubles aligned with the ones of the IOUS, once more to the benefit of the IOUs.

Lastly, we look at the federal attitude and the EPA’s position in handling the method from an IOU angle. Aside from the extended financial instability of the USA economic system, the economic capital markets collapsing, and their sluggish recuperation having dwindled adoption of AB1103, a larger hassle exists this is woven within the one’s problems. Within coins-strapped confines, “The EPA is last in on the scheduled launch in their newly upgraded Energy Star Portfolio Manager to make benchmarking constructing energy performance extra, for loss of a better phrase, efficient. The improvement will encompass database structure, machine processing, internet offerings, and user interface modifications. All adjustments are being made with an overarching motive of enhancing capability and usability for all parties. Most extremely good for the Portfolio Manager user is that the web offerings, formally called Automated Benchmarking Services (ABS), can have a brand new software design to simplify the manner of exchanging statistics with Portfolio Manager” (Segan, 2013). Imagine the paperwork of adopting a central authority rollout of the technology. Current news headlines retell the story, “Government Tech Problems: Blame the People or the Process?” (Hu, 2014). “President Obama has repeatedly stated that authorities wish to improve the way it procures and uses generics. But to this point, the White House hasn’t planned to tackle the difficulty” (Hu, 2014). Here we take a look at the final part of the puzzle of the competition. The IOUs are yet again armed with an extra purpose to slow the adoption of AB1103. The philosophical problem of Climate Change, a lack of era, and economics are abjectly tied together on this ultimate issue.



To summarize, the dilemma of dissenting opinion at the implementation of AB 1103 is being perpetrated via the IOUs, in the beginning, deemed to assist it. The troubles are clean, and yet little has been achieved to resolve their impact on the populace of California. Is weather change real? How will we get a business to harm itself and remain inside criminal limitations? Who is chargeable for disseminating the level of education essential to fully embrace the law that is supposed to provide a lift to Californians? These are the three vast topics affecting the federal and state organizations, the building owners, and the IOUs tasked with using the manner. Traditional commercial enterprise frameworks are being urged to new paradigms, the effects of macro-stage monetary instability continue to squeeze all events, and a fashionable malaise exists for training on such topics while different financial factors, which include preserving the doors, open all preside in the forefront of all events.

AB1103 was meant as a boon to California. What has evolved is any other example of the electricity and influence of company America dictating the what, who, and when of our lives. Originally set to begin in 2009, the state-of-the-art postponement has AB1103 becoming energetic simply this 12 months (2014) and for best specific and slender contributors. As referred to above, even the enforcement has been mitigated to satisfactory attempt fame. It is also clear that at the time of manifestation, the IOUs had been positioned to deter AB1103 adoption with a myriad of prison wrangling and inefficiencies in the paperwork of its governance surroundings.

It is now upon the person of California to renew our efforts at holding the IOUs accountable for these seemingly unethical tactics in adopting AB1103. Subsequent rules, such as AB531, have been drafted to clarify positioning on AB1103, but not to the California populace’s advantage. More and greater political partisanship has created a cloud of bewilderment and mistrust within the implementation of AB1103. From the proof amassed, it’s apparent that the very entities IOUs in the middle of the performance of AB1103 are the drivers of most, if not all, the problems. Push back at every flip that has happened to the detriment of Californians. Where and the way this process ends up does genuinely lie with the IOUs? Either manner, it’s far safe to say that the larger issue of the greening of an economy will take precedence over corporate benefit. This paradigm shift toward sustainable practices is a pressure past anyone’s purview. Our lives, or our youngsters’ lives, are at stake, and nothing can forestall us from changing the humans’ will or at least this small commercial enterprise 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 important representative of Atlas Project Support. This San Diego County-based company specializes in strength conservation, sustainable building practices, and preconstruction offerings for public and personal customers. Michael holds each instructional and industry credentials and has more than thirteen years of production and project control revel in.

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 in Florida, and the San Diego State University College of Extended Studies. This academic thing resonates during Michael’s professional existence as he additionally conducts education in sustainable business practices for groups and corporations. Michael also donates his efforts to aid the San Diego State Foundation Energy Innovations Small Grant Technology Transfer Program at the Lavin Center as an MBA pupil mentor.

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

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