The Importance of Energy Planning in California’s Commercial Developments

The Importance of Energy Planning in Californias Commercial Developments.jpg

Energy systems are some of the largest systems in a commercial development project, and as a result they requisition a sizeable portion of the budget. Ensuring that the energy-related development goals remain on track is therefore crucial to maintain a target budget and schedule. This leaves very little room for error or oversight, meaning that planning a development’s energy usage is important for the well-being of a commercial development project.

In this article, we will discuss the reasons why investing the appropriate time and resources into energy planning is the best possible step for a developer when developing commercial real estate.


The Code Counts

The first and most pressing of these issues is that energy code compliance is required by every building department here in California.  As much as contesting or challenging then might seem a viable option, the investment of time and resources to do so will surely end in defeat.  Thus, the best course of action is to plan for and dial in energy compliance measures the first time around. Building department review and inspection agents are notoriously dogmatic, so their approval is directly tied to the success of the project itself.

One of the main reasons that developers could find themselves with problems regarding compliance is a misunderstanding of current code requirements as California’s code updates every three years.  Having an energy planning partner on the project team will always pay off later as they have a complete and full understanding of the relevant codes and requirements concerning your product from inception which are crucial to a project’s success.


3rd Party Inspection Compliance

As we mentioned, on-site inspection could unearth a missed step or mechanical component out of code compliance which will delay construction, require existing material change out or updated energy modeling and absolutely have negative consequences on both the budget and timeline.


Tax incentives and rebates

Above code projects often qualify for both incentives and rebates from the Federal Government, State of California and often local utility providers (So Cal Gas, SoCalREN, SMUD, PG&E, etc).  Spending the appropriate time to plan for compliance and invest in energy efficiency planning prior to beginning construction can pay you back!

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