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.