San Francisco Department of the Environment

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How to Comply and Report to SF Environment

A Confirmation of Energy Audit must be filed with the Department of Environment affirming an audit or retrocommissioning study meeting all requirements of the ordinance was completed. It is the building owner’s decision whether to implement energy-saving retrofits and operational improvements identified in the energy efficiency audit, which are eligible for financing, and frequently eligible for substantial incentives from the utility, state, and federal government.

It is not necessary to file an entire Energy Audit Report with the Department of Environment; only a Confirmation of Energy Audit will be required. The Confirmation of Energy Audit will be filed online; SF Environment provides Energy Professionals with access to the tool upon request. The Confirmation of Energy Audit includes:

  • Contact information for the building and building owner
  • Auditor name and qualifications, and when the audit was completed
  • Preliminary Energy-Use Analysis (PEA) - including review of all data in the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager account used for submittal of the most recent benchmark report(s), including energy usage, floor area, space usage, and all attributes considered in 1-100 score (where applicable). The building owner must either provide a copy of the Portfolio Manager Data Verification Checklist, or access to the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager account. 
  • A list of all cost-effective retrofit (or retro-commissioning) measures identified. For reporting purposes, “cost-effective” means energy efficiency measures that are estimated by the auditor to either:
    • Each have a simple payback of 3 years or less,
    • Each have a beneficial net present value,
    • Comprise an integrated package with an overall simple payback of approximately 3 years, OR
    • Comprise an integrated package with beneficial net present value. 

Submit a Confirmation of Energy Audit 

A Confirmation of Energy Audit may only be filed by the Energy Professional who conducts the audit. To access the Confirmation of Energy Audit tool, the auditor should:

  1. Register for a free account with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Building Energy Asset Score Tool. Be sure to use the email address you will use for submitting the Confirmation of Energy Audit.
  2. Validate email address and login to the tool.
  3. Create a new audit report by clicking on the “New Audit Report” button on the right side and select “Other City Report”. Be sure to select “San Francisco Report” as the report type.

A quick start guide for the audit template is linked here (PDF)

Where to go for Help

To assist with data entry, each screen has a Help icon that links to an associated module of an online Audit Template User Guide. The User Guide is connected to the Asset Score Help Desk, which may be used to submit a support ticket to request additional assistance.

Register an Audit as Pending (i.e. in progress)

Once SFEnvironment receives notice from an Energy Service Provider that a given building is under contract for audit or retrocommissioning study that will fulfill the requirements of the ordinance, the building owner is safe from penalty provided the audit is completed as soon as reasonably possible. (A high quality analysis should be the highest priority for all parties.) Buildings with an audit in progress or under review by SF Environment are denoted as "Pending" on the public Compliance Report.  

To register an audit or retrocommissioning study as Pending, please complete this form.

Exemptions to Audit Requirements

An Energy Efficiency Audit is not required if the building is new or is recognized by a third party as high performing:

  • High Performance Buildings: The building has received the ENERGY STAR in 3 of the past 5 years, or LEED for Existing Buildings certification in the past 5 years.
  • New Construction: The building was constructed (i.e. received a final Certificate of Occupancy) in the past 5 years.

Buildings that meet these criteria are exempt from an audit until the next audit cycle, and will remain exempt if they maintain current recognition for high performance.

Buildings are also exempt from the audit requirement for as long as any of the following conditions apply:

  • Unoccupied Buildings: (The building had less than one full-time equivalent occupant for the previous calendar year.)
  • Financial Distress: Examples of qualifying financial distress include:
  • Properties qualified for sale at public auction by the Treasurer and Tax Collector due to arrears of property taxes that resulted in the property's qualification for sale at public auction, or acquisition by a public agency within two years prior to the due date of an energy efficiency audit report
  • A court appointed receiver is in control of the asset due to financial distress
  • Buildings owned by a financial institution through default by the borrower
  • Buildings acquired by a deed in lieu of foreclosure
  • Buildings where the senior mortgage is subject to a notice of default.

In all other cases, the Confirmation of Energy Audit is required by the assigned due date.

To request an Exemption to the Energy Audit requirement based on one of the conditions above, please email [email protected] with appropriate reference material to confirm the exemption.


Related Content

Confirmation of Energy Audit Quick Start Guide (PDF)

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