San Francisco Existing Commercial Buildings Ordinance

The San Francisco Existing Commercial Buildings Ordinance, also known as SF ECBO, is applicable to pre-existing non-residential structures within the City and County of San Francisco that encompass 10,000 square feet or more of heated or cooled space. This legislation comprises two main directives:

Energy Benchmarking - Required Annually by April 1

Building proprietors are mandated to annually report their building's energy performance using the US EPA's ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager (ESPM) benchmarking system. The Annual Energy Benchmark Summary (AEBS) report, based on the previous year's total energy consumption, must be submitted to the San Francisco Department of the Environment by April 1 each year.

Energy Audits - Required Every 5 Years

The ordinance also necessitates an energy efficiency audit every five years, with a summary of outcomes submitted to the San Francisco Department of Environment in the form of a Confirmation of Energy Audit (CEA) report. The audit aims to assess current energy usage in buildings and propose cost-effective strategies for improving energy efficiency. While compliance doesn’t mandate implementing the audit's recommendations, the hope is that the provided financial analysis will encourage serious consideration.

Man in hardhat doing an energy audit on commercial hvac

Audits must adhere to specific criteria

  • Buildings spanning 10,000 to 49,999 square feet require an ASHRAE Level 1 audit.
  • Buildings of 50,000 square feet or more must undergo an ASHRAE Level 2 audit.
  • For further details on energy audits, please refer to our Energy Audit overview page.

Compliance Details

The ECBO pertains to non-residential buildings exceeding 10,000 square feet of mechanically heated or cooled space. However, it does not cover buildings with residential tenants, nor does it apply to structures with total square footage exceeding 10,000 but less than 10,000 square feet of climate controlled space. There are exemptions for vacant buildings and new constructions, with differing criteria for benchmarking and audit requirements. Contact ERI via the form on the right for specific exemption details.

Existing Commercial Buildings Audits Worker

How ERI can Help

ERI offers comprehensive assistance beyond mere data input and report generation. Through our subscription service, we actively monitor buildings year-round, initiating benchmarking as soon as data becomes available. Our services include:

  • Utilizing the EPA's ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager for benchmarking, as mandated by San Francisco.
  • Gathering property, utility, and tenant information essential for benchmarking.
  • Updating the building's ESPM profile, incorporating relevant subspaces.
  • Ensuring accurate energy usage data from utility companies is incorporated into ESPM either manually or through automated web services.
  • Validating and finalizing benchmarking data generated by ESPM.
  • Submitting benchmark results to the San Francisco Department of Environment (and State of California if necessary).
  • Providing an owner's annual benchmark report containing pertinent ESPM results.

This approach aims to alleviate property owners' compliance concerns, ensuring seamless adherence to San Francisco's ECBO.

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