The Existing Building Energy and Water Efficiency (EBEWE) ordinance is a new law that affects certain buildings in the City of Los Angeles. The EBEWE program is overseen by Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety (LADBS). 

The law covers many types of real estate including office, industrial, commercial, and multifamily residential properties and contains two parts – Phase I and Phase II. 

Phase I

Phase I was rolled out over the last few years according to the size of the building. Currently, Phase I requires particular properties over 20,000 square feet to benchmark and transmit water, electricity, and gas data annually by June 1st. Phase I benchmarking was suspended last year due to the pandemic yet has resumed this year. Failure to comply could result in noncompliance fines, late fees, and other related charges. 

There are many steps for Phase I benchmarking if you decide to undergo the process yourself. First you would need to register and pay the compliance fee for your building on the LADBS website. You could also register and pay the fee at the end of the process if you want. Then you would need to create an Energy Star Portfolio Manager account and create a property profile. Afterwards create virtual meters for water and electricity, send in an online Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) benchmarking application, and then connect with LADWP. 

For the LADWP benchmarking application, you must provide general building information and may need to attach extra documents such as proof of ownership, letter of authorization, self-certification letter, or consent forms depending on the number of meters in your building. Next, you need to share and connect the property with Southern California Gas (SoCalGas) while also submitting an online data request form. You will need to check, confirm, and answer multiple emails from both LADWP and SoCalGas. Once LADWP and SoCalGas upload the usage data on your Portfolio Manager account, you run the data quality checker and submit the benchmark report to LADBS.

Phase II

Phase II consists of audits and retro commissioning and is due by December 1st every five years.

The Phase II quinquennial deadline is determined by the last digits of the L.A. City Building ID. You can find your L.A. City Building ID number by looking at the letters sent to you by the City of Los Angeles about the program or visit the LADBS website and find your L.A. City Building ID in Building Information Online. 

For Phase II, since you would need a California licensed engineer or architect, LADBS has still not completely rolled out all of the details yet, and this section is not due annually like Phase I, the average property owner will find knowledge about Phase I to be more beneficial. 

There are many steps for Phase I benchmarking if you decide to undergo the process yourself. First you would need to register and pay the compliance fee for your building on the LADBS website. You could also register and pay the fee at the end of the process if you want. Then you would need to create an Energy Star Portfolio Manager account and create a property profile. Afterwards create virtual meters for water and electricity, send in an online Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) benchmarking application, and then connect with LADWP. For the LADWP benchmarking application, you must provide general building information and may need to attach extra documents such as proof of ownership, letter of authorization, self-certification letter, or consent forms depending on the number of meters in your building. Next, you need to share and connect the property with Southern California Gas (SoCalGas) while also submitting an online data request form. You will need to check, confirm, and answer multiple emails from both LADWP and SoCalGas. Once LADWP and SoCalGas upload the usage data on your Portfolio Manager account, you run the data quality checker and submit the benchmark report to LADBS. 

Conclusion

Completing EBEWE benchmarking could be very time consuming and difficult. There are over 100 pages of information written about EBEWE and hundreds more once you begin the long process of complying. For many of these outlined steps, you will not be able to continue until the previous step has been completed. Almost all of these steps would need to be repeated for each subsequent building. 
Castle Compliance LLC is a benchmarking service provider that specializes in helping properties complete the annual EBEWE Phase 1 ordinance for the City of Los Angeles. Visit www.castlecompliancellc.com for more information, Email [email protected], or Call 310-290-4714.