Energy Data for San Diego's New Benchmarking Ordinance is Approaching

This blog post was originally published by Ravi Bajaj on the Healthy Buildings Blog, May 15th, 2019.

Are you ready to submit your building’s energy data?

The first due date for San Diego’s new benchmarking ordinance is rapidly approaching. The ordinance requires most commercial buildings over 50,000 square feet to submit annual whole-building energy data to both the City of San Diego and the State of California under AB 802.

Building upon the success and lessons learned in other municipalities across California and the US, San Diego is seeking to gather local energy performance information to inform future planning and achieve the local Climate Action Plan goals.

Why is energy benchmarking important?

Energy benchmarking is step 1 in what is known as a ‘Continuous Improvement Cycle’ – Plan, Do, Check, Act. In order to achieve maximum energy efficiency and cost savings, a good understanding of a building’s annual energy consumption is needed, as well as an energy comparison with similar buildings.

From a City perspective, a local benchmarking ordinance provides data that will help planners develop a  strategy for greater efficiency in existing buildings city-wide and achieve  Climate Action Plan goals. The ordinance also provides an opportunity for partnerships between the City and local building owner and management groups to tackle issues collaboratively and craft incentive and rebate programs that align with local needs.

What to expect in 2019 and beyond

The City of San Diego has crafted this year’s ordinance to align with the statewide AB802 legislation. Submission to the City via the EnergyStar Portfolio Manager will ensure you comply with both the city ordinance and AB 802 with one submittal. In the future, the City plans to add a phased schedule for implementation moving forward that may include requirements for smaller buildings, water or greenhouse gas emissions data, and periodic energy audit or Retro Commissioning. See the table below for submittal requirements.

Submittal Requirements for June 1st, 2019 Deadline

Building Type

Building Size June 1, 2019 June 1, 2020
Commercial > 50,000 square feet Report to city Report to city
Multifamily/Mixed-Use > 50,000 square feet and
17+ residential utility accounts
Report to state

Report to city

For more information on the ordinance, please see the City of San Diego’s benchmarking website:

Need help complying with the new San Diego benchmark ordinance? Contact Brian Wilson, VP of Energy & Resources, at [email protected] for more information.

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.