Boone Energy
Boone Energy

San Francisco Existing Commercial Buildings Ordinance

San Francisco’s Existing Commercial Buildings Energy Performance Ordinance (aka SF ECBO) applies to all existing commercial, non-residential buildings within the City and County of San Francisco that have 10,000 square feet or more of space that is heated or cooled. The Ordinance has two separate requirements:

Energy Benchmark - Required Annually by April 1

Building owners must report the annual energy performance of their building every year based on results from the US EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager (ESPM) benchmarking system. The official Annual Energy Benchmark Summary (AEBS) report must be submitted to the San Francisco Department of the Environment by April 1 each year based on the total energy used during the previous calendar year.

Energy Audit - Required Once Every 5 Years

The City of San Francisco ordinance also requires an energy efficiency audit to be performed at least once every five years and a summary of the results be submitted to the City of San Francisco Department of Environment through an official Confirmation of Energy Audit (CEA) report. The purpose of an energy audit is to analyze how a building is currently using energy and provide cost-effective recommendations to the building owner on how they can improve the energy efficiency of their building. The City of San Francisco does not require that owners implement the recommendations in the audit report, but the hope is that the financial analysis provided for each recommendation is attractive enough to deserve serious consideration.

    • Buildings from 10,000 - 49,999 square feet must perform an ASHRAE Level 1 audit
    • Buildings 50,000 square feet or large must perform an ASHRAE Level 2 audit

For more information on energy audits and what they entail, please refer to our Energy Audit overview page.

Who must comply?

San Francisco's ECBO covers a wide range of commercial building, but currently does not apply to any residential buildings. Here are the basics:

    • Non-residential buildings with greater than 10,000 square feet of gross floor space that is mechanically heated or cooled.
    • Buildings with one or more residential tenant are exempt.
    • Buildings that have more than 10,000 square feet in total but less than 10,000 square feet that is able to be heated or cooled are exempt.
    • There are exemptions for vacant buildings and new construction, but these vary between the benchmarking requirement and the audit requirement, so please contact Boone Energy to discuss.

How can Boone Energy help?

Unlike most benchmarking services, Boone Energy does more than just enter data and run a report, we strive to offload as much of the effort from the property owner as possible. Through our annual subscription service we constantly monitor the building throughout the year and proactively begin work on each year's benchmark as soon as the data is available. With Boone Energy's benchmarking service you won't have to worry about keeping your building compliant. What we provide:

    1. Benchmarks are performed using the EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager (ESPM) benchmarking system as required by the City of San Francisco.
    2. Collection of all available property, utility and tenant information necessary to perform the benchmark.
    3. Creation and/or update of the building’s profile in ESPM including any relevant subspaces.
    4. Ensure all current energy usage data as provided by the appropriate utility company(s) has been loaded into ESPM either manually or through automated web services when available.
    5. Review, validation and finalization of benchmarking data generated by ESPM.
    6. Submission of benchmark results to the City of San Francisco Department of Environment (and State of California where necessary).
    7. Delivery of an owner's annual benchmark report including all relevant results from ESPM.