Santa Monica, CA (March 28, 2023)—Green Econome is proud to announce that it has received the 2023 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Marika Erdely, Founder and CEO of Green Econome states, “Receiving this recognition for our partnership with the EPA and ENERGY STAR program is a significant milestone for our organization. Green Econome was founded to meet the demand for ENERGY STAR benchmarking as local and state energy disclosure laws were put into place over a decade ago. Green Econome is celebrating ten years of compliance services, so earning 2023 Partner of the Year is that much sweeter. We have benchmarked nearly 2,000 properties and pride ourselves on being a leader in accurate reporting and industry expertise. We wholeheartedly invest in ENERGY STAR as a trusted platform that we lean into for benchmarking, building certifications, and now GHG emissions metrics, data management for our client’s ESG goals, and driving reduction targets.”

“As we accelerate historic efforts to address climate change, public-private partnerships will be essential to realizing the scale of our ambition,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “I applaud this year’s ENERGY STAR award winners for working with EPA to deliver a clean energy future that saves American consumers and businesses money and creates jobs.”

Each year, the ENERGY STAR program honors a select group of businesses and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to the transition to a clean energy economy. ENERGY STAR award winners lead their industries in the production, sale, and adoption of energy-efficient products, homes, buildings, services, and strategies. These efforts are essential to fighting the climate crisis, protecting public health, and creating a clean energy future for everyone.

Winners are selected from a network of thousands of ENERGY STAR partners. For a complete list of 2023 winners and more information about ENERGY STAR’s awards program, visit

About Green Econome

Green Econome is a woman-owned, small business providing energy and water efficiency compliance, consulting, and construction services for commercial real estate. Our Los Angeles-based team of licensed and credentialed professionals takes an integrated approach to finding efficiency solutions that positively affect market valuations, reduce environmental impact, meet ESG and sustainability goals, and ensure regulatory compliance.


ENERGY STAR® is the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency, providing simple, credible, and unbiased information that consumers and businesses rely on to make well-informed decisions. Thousands of industrial, commercial, utility, state, and local organizations rely on their partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to deliver cost-saving energy efficiency solutions. Since 1992, ENERGY STAR and its partners helped American families and businesses avoid more than $500 billion in energy costs and achieve more than 4 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas reductions. More background information about ENERGY STAR’s impacts can be found at

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Karalyn Honea

Chula Vista, CA joins a growing list of municipalities with building benchmarking and performance targets.

Chula Vista is the second-largest city in the San Diego metropolitan area and known as, “the lemon capital of the world”. It’s marine to mountain biodiversity and urban landscape requires the city to prioritize the unique challenges to the local community, on how it consumes and conserves natural resources. Which is why they are all-in on their 2017 Climate Action Plan. That and, it’s what all cities should be doing. As a building compliance service provider, we want to break down the why, what, who, when, and how of the ordinance, because we like to help!

WHY: Chula Vista Climate Action Plan

The 2017 Chula Vista Climate Action Plan is exemplary, with clear objectives and holistic strategies targeting clean growth, transportation, infrastructure, urban forestry, and energy, water, and waste reduction. Through the Plan, the city has committed to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 15% below 2005 levels by 2020 and 55% below 2005 levels by 2030. 

WHAT: Building Energy Saving Ordinance

One of the Climate Action Plan strategies to energy conservation in existing buildings comes as a familiar code and, for Chula Vista, is known as the Building Energy Saving Ordinance (BESO). Where cities like Los Angeles currently take a two-pronged approach: benchmarking and performance reporting, Chula Vista goes a step further to include minimum improvement requirements and transactional disclosure when applicable. 

We’ll call it the 1-5-10 Rule:

  • Every (1) year - ENERGY STAR® benchmark your building
  • Every five (5) years - meet conservation (performance targets) or audit (A/RCx) requirements
  • Every ten (10) years - demonstrate that your building is meeting the mandatory minimum improvement requirements
WHO: Owners of 20,000+ Sq.Ft. Multifamily & Commercial Buildings

Section 15.26.050 of the Municipal Code now requires multifamily and nonresidential buildings of at least 20,000 square feet to comply with the above Rule. The law and subsequent non-compliance fines apply to the owner, aka title holder of the property. The owner is responsible for maintaining all records related to their reporting. There are, of course, exemptions. Download our info sheet for a full list, but here are exemptions by building type:

  •       Residential buildings with less than five (residential) utility accounts
  •       Local and federal owned buildings
  •       Buildings owned by the Metropolitan Transit Service, Chula Vista and Sweetwater School Districts
WHEN: As Soon as January 2022

There is a gradual implementation of compliance reporting; however, benchmarking submission should be available starting in January. We’ll go back to the 1-5-10 Rule below, giving you a basic guideline:

 (1) Annual Benchmarking First Due Date:

  • March 20, 2022 - Buildings 20,000 - 49,999 Sq.Ft.
  • May 20, 2022 - Buildings 50,000+ Sq.Ft. 

(5) Year Conservation Requirements First Due Date:

  • Beginning 2023 or later - Buildings 50,000+ Sq.Ft. 
  • Beginning 2026 or later - Buildings 20,000 - 49,999 Sq.Ft.

(10) Year Minimum Improvement Requirements First Due Date:

  • Beginning 2023 or later - Multifamily Prescriptive Upgrades
  • Beginning 2028 or later - Buildings 50,000+ Sq.Ft.
  • Beginning 2031 or later - Buildings 20,000 - 49,999 Sq.Ft.
HOW: With a Little Help from Some Friends

The City of Chula Vista and ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager websites can help guide you through the benchmarking process and how to connect your SDG&E data. We always recommend automatic data upload, unless of course, you like manually entering billing data year after year. You can also hire us to do all of it!

There is currently no cost to comply; however, there is a cost to not comply! Failure to comply with this law results in a notification and 60-day window. If a building does not submit their report within that time, they are subject to fines of up to $2,250 on a per-incident basis, based on the building’s gross floor area (GFA).

All good plans come with a solution. There are incentives and programs available through the city to help businesses (and residents) identify areas of improvement and pay for efficiency upgrades. There are many incentives at the utility, state, and federal levels to help implement building resiliency as well.

Green EconoME is a full-service provider. Our team of multidisciplinary, qualified professionals can fulfill your 1-5-10 and are versed in the latest incentive programs and financing options. It is what our integrated approach is based on. Whether your goal is to simply comply or to fulfill ESG strategies, Green EconoME analyzes energy use, and existing conditions to provide solutions that reduce operating costs, and increase the value of your property. Contact us with questions or for pricing. Chula Vista, we are so excited for the health and future of your community, congratulations! We can’t wait to get started.

“The increased risk of catastrophic wildfires poses an immediate threat to communities and properties throughout the state…[The state’s] electrical corporations must invest in hardening of the state’s electrical infrastructure and vegetation management to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires.” Kevin Payne, Southern California Edison president and chief CEO, addressed head-on in his General Rate Case testimony the primary issue facing his company and other investor-owned utilities (IOUs) across the American West. Wildfires are an ongoing crisis, and energy companies are feeling the heat. SCE is next up for revenue increase approval by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), and their request is in the billions. Although this does mean monthly rate increases to customers, it also signals something larger: the need for end-users to become part of the solution.

The General Rate Case

General Rate Cases (GRCs), are proceedings made by utility companies to the Public Utilities Commission to address the costs of operating and maintaining the utility system and the distribution of those costs among customer groups. Cases are made every three to four years. Although all providers are required to do this, the three largest IOUs bear the most significant impact. In California, San Diego Gas & Electric and Pacific Gas & Electric have already submitted their applications for changes beginning in 2019 and 2020. SCE is in the final phase and approval is expected in early 2021.

The cost of power

SCE’s request represents a $1.295 billion, or 20.1% revenue increase in 2021. Increases for 2022 and 2023 are $366.5 and $534.2 million respectively. Although percentages vary across customer groups, this translates to approximately two cents more, per kWh in 2021. PG&E and SDG&E were not too far behind. PG&E asked for a $1.058 billion or 12.4% revenue hike for 2020. Rolling in third was SDG&E at a combined $2.199 billion revenue requirement, or an 11% increase over four years beginning in 2019.

What is it for?

The key reasons for SCE’s proposed increase are stated as:

  1. Reducing the risk of wildfires to keep the electric grid safe for the public and for SCE workers
  2. Reinforcing grid reliability and grid resiliency in case of emergency
  3. Improving customer service and communication, integrating distributed energy resources, and offering customers more choices to meet their needs

Top of the list, SCE is asking for more funding to help bolster wildfire prevention, risk monitoring, and emergency response. They will do this by adding new and enhanced safety measures like HD cameras and weather stations to detect ignitions. They will increase vegetation management, by continually removing potential fuel like branches and hazardous trees from power lines. They will perform system hardening or fixing bare wires to increase resilience and help further reduce wildfire risk.

Next, is SCE’s plan to upgrade technology and infrastructure to further grid safety, and modernization. Among other things, this means SCE still struggles to keep the power on. Urged by California’s clean energy reform, SCE continues to prioritize and invest in clean energy generation from customers connected to the grid. Stated as part of this, is integrating into the grid Distributed Energy Resources (DERs). Edison describes DERs as, “small scale local resources, often installed at a customer’s home or business, [that] can help meet California’s greenhouse gas reduction goals, help customers reduce electricity use and support grid reliability.” Their robust programs and incentives provide compelling opportunities to building owners throughout California.

The case for clean and efficient energy

If you have already implemented or are considering self-generation like solar, and energy storage, here are some of the programs in place. Net Energy Metering, provides billing credits for surplus energy you “sell back” to the grid. Solar Power on Warehouse Rooftops program, is exactly what it sounds like. Providing your warehouse rooftop(s) as a sort of solar farm, for which you will both use the power and get paid for the surplus kWh. SOMAH is a community program for multi-family low-income housing, which offsets tenant cost and implements cleaner renewable energy. SGIP and green energy strategies are programs that provide clean energy solutions and help finance the cost of installation. These are only some of the opportunities to make self-generation easier to light up and quicker to pay back. 

Outside of self-generation, energy efficiency has always been a proven path to reducing your use and cost while qualifying for incentives. For example, enrolling in an energy solutions incentive program like Demand Response, or Express Solutions, may not only offset future rate increases to your site, but qualify you for further discounts, financing, or credits. The best part is that you chose the efficiency modalities that best suit your needs. For effective retrofit measures, visit our Energy Efficiency Retrofits page. Green EconoME’s work at Warner View Center spotlights the impact of integrating newer technologies and self-generation at a single site.  

Fires rage on across the western United States, holding up what seems to be a promise for climate change. If we do nothing, more extreme weather conditions and events will be our fearsome reality. The multi-faceted issue which is met with even more refracting opinions does hold one fact to be true. Wildfires come at an enormous expense and are taxing an aging infrastructure. If this isn’t the tipping point of real change in our behaviors and long-term investments into solutions, how will we be paying for it in GRC cycles to come? 

Visit the CPUC website to read the complete SCE application or to submit public comment. When you are ready to explore energy efficiency or self-generation options for your property, please contact us.

Did you implement Energy Efficiency measures in your building during 2018 or prior? You may be eligible for a tax deduction and/or credit.

As of December 19, 2019 the Senate has approved the 2019 Tax Extender Bill, which extends the 179D deduction and the 45L tax credit. This  allows for the adjustment of 2018 tax returns to include qualified energy-efficiency projects from that year.

The deadline to amend 2018 tax returns is December 31, 2020. Projects from earlier than 2018 may still qualify if you have not taken advantage of available incentives. Ask Green EconoMe how you can maximize this benefit.

What is Section 179D Tax Deduction

179D was created in 2005 under the Energy Policy Act (EPACT), allowing a tax deduction from $0.30 to $1.80 per square foot for the installation of energy efficiency systems in the commercial space.

Building owners are not the only beneficiaries of this tax deduction. Tenants may also be eligible if they take on construction spending. However, deductions can only be recognized for the year that efficiency measures are up and running.

What is Section 45L Tax Credit

45L was created in 2005, providing $2,000 per dwelling unit that consumes less energy than national standards. This credit is meant for low-rise apartment developers with buildings 3 stories or fewer. Buildings 4 stories or more may qualify for the 179D deduction detailed above. The 45L credit can be applied to new construction or the refurbishment of existing units. Like with 179D, in order to be recognized for the tax credit, the new or refurbished unit must be leased or sold within the year that tax return is filed.


Does my Building Qualify for Tax Deduction or Tax Credit?

Green EconoME is a woman-owned, multi-disciplinary energy consulting and construction firm providing full-scale energy efficiency services to diverse public and private sector clients. Not only are we led by a former CFO who seeks all incentives available for each project, our ROI data is also 98% accurate. Contact us to see if any of your projects are eligible for these extensions! or (818) 681-5750