New retrofit mandates meant to lower energy use and eventually costs are leaving many California companies with an early case of sticker shock.
The state Energy Commission says part of that might be the businesses’ fault and that some are misinterpreting the regulations and overestimating what they must do to comply.
In July, the state updated lighting requirements in the building code as part of an effort to lower commercial energy use by 30 percent. Business owners, electrical engineers and landlords say the new standards could add tens of thousands of dollars to companies’ cost to move into or upgrade already existing buildings.
The new rules set a lower cap on lighting wattage per square foot and encourage commercial property owners to outfit their buildings with controls and sensors that automatically dim lights when a room is unoccupied, or if natural light allows for lower intensity.
The regulations generally mandate that landlords and business owners add controls – and in some cases, more efficient fluorescent or LED lights – when a retrofit affects more than 10 percent of the electrical lamps in a given space. (Regulators say the rule’s only triggered when more than 40 fixtures are moved or changed in some way, though most businesses and contractors I spoke with weren’t aware of this rule.)
Real estate brokers and contractors say the 10 percent standard – at least, as they understand it – is met most of the time companies move. Changes or upgrades are usually necessary to make a previously occupied space work for new tenants, and landlords often pay for those improvements.
We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?
With these Republican governors it's just layer upon layer of regulation. And they pardon their buddy's kids to boot.
@Chris Brewster News flash, Jerry Brown is a democrat.
@Chris Brewster Republicans don't mind taking away our freedom when it favors Big Oil. For example, minimum parking requirements in the zoning code.
Mr. Weber: My comment was intended to be mostly tongue in cheek, but the story indicates that these changes implement a law signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. As for the pardon part I was referring to the following. Not that it is on point. I do think it's important though to note that regulations that some consider onerous come from political leaders of both parties.
@David Crossley More accurately, my crusade is for more freedom and property rights and lower prices at the store. Forcing developers to build more parking than the market wants goes against these goals.
@Derek Hofmann @David Crossley --Parts of the market want less parking, and some want more. Many of the million or so coming to the San Diego region in the next 30 years or so will drive here, and will need some place to park. That is a fact. Parking was, is, and will be a necessity for decades to come. Reducing parking will only cause problems which will grow in time. On the other hand, I have no problem with more freedom and property rights, but I think you are mistaken if you think reducing the size of a parking lot is going to lower prices. You may just see people shopping at a store with more parking, and avoiding a store with less.
@David Crossley If it's true that there's a market for more parking, meaning that a business owner ran the numbers and decided that the additional revenue from building more parking exceeds the cost of building it, then the business owner will build it unless prevented by the government. Therefore, there is no need to force them to build it.
@David Crossley Amazon.com.
Easy to be righteous when you have no downside.
Obviously the confusion caused with these regulations needs to be cleared up but this is typical.
Government regulations burden of compliance is placed on business while the government position.....
Kelly Cunningham of the California Lighting Technology Center...
"She said business owners, real estate brokers and engineers need to review the new standards and seek training or guidance before they assume the worst. They should also recognize that the state must be forward-thinking and take bold steps to address environmental concerns."
IOW go pound sand.