Nationwide, we are seeking alternative energy sources in any means possible. Every state is seeking alternative sources of collecting energy, whether that be wind, solar, hydroelectric, biofuel, or any other means available. As a country, we are well aware that fossil fuels are depleting and if action isn’t taken to find other fuel sources immediately, we will face various problems in the near future.
While many states have instituted environmentally friendly programs for new construction, building rehabilitation, and general energy consumption, these programs are most effective on a homeowner consumer level. This isn’t to devalue these programs, as they have effectively impacted decisions for these consumers, however California is thinking on a larger scale.
California has always been a state of forward thinkers when it comes to energy consumption. This progressive mindset is because The Golden State is amongst the top 20 precent of energy consumption within the United States, largely due its high population. Rather than offering simple tax incentives, California is taking alternative actions that many consumers may not even be aware of.
A simple trip to an electronics store or hardware store will display rows of yellow Energy Star labels. These labels are designed to show consumers how energy efficient the appliances are and what their annual consumption costs will average. However, these labels are no longer reserved just for appliances. As of July 1, 2014, commercial buildings in California over 5,000 square feet will have a similar label according to Assembly Bill 1103.
The program was rolled out in steps, starting with buildings over 50,000 square feet in July 2013, followed by 10,000 feet in January 2014. The bill includes commercial spaces such as banks, offices, retail stores, churches, schools, nursing homes, hotels, storage facilities, and even garages. The building will be issued an Energy Star rating, complete with a running history of energy consumption for any source the building utilizes. The rating is on a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 being the most energy efficient building possible compared to similar buildings of its size. An Energy Star rating of 85, for example, states that it is more energy efficient than 85 percent of similar buildings in the entire nation.
The bill was created for buildings that are for sale or lease or seeking financing or refinancing. This is to encourage property owners to assess the value of reduced energy costs and allow companies to seek a facility that offers the best possible energy rating. According to Andersen Environmental AB1103 will require building owners to provide the consumption report to any potential tenants. This will affect the competitiveness of the commercial space market and encourage building owners to invest in means to reduce consumption such as efficient ventilation systems or windows and alternative energy sources like solar panels.
California may be one of the first states to adapt this type of program, however many states may follow suit. As a nation, the need to produce clean energy is growing every year. The government program encourages potential change on a widespread level.