Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Public Order under the City of Los Angeles Emergency Authority has suspended Existing Buildings Energy and Water Efficiency Program deadlines for benchmarking reporting years 2019-2020 (original deadlines of June 1, 2020 & 2021), and Phase II Audit and Retro-commissioning (A/RCx) reporting with a compliance year of 2021 (original deadline of December 1, 2021). At least six months’ notice will be given prior to reinstating the deadlines. Although deadlines have been temporarily lifted, the program remains active, and the City continues to urge property owners to submit program reporting. For more information:


The purpose of EBEWE Ordinance is to reduce energy and water consumption in existing buildings in the City of Los Angeles. The ordinance requires existing commercial and multi – family buildings to be benchmarked, audited, retrofitted and/or Retro–Commissioned. These efficiency improvements will lower the use of energy, water and greenhouse gas emissions citywide. Annual benchmarking requirements began in 2017. Energy and water reductions will be required starting in 2021, and will then be required every five years.

PHASE I: Annual Benchmarking Compliance

EBEWE Los Angeles

A benchmarking report generated by the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager software, summarizing the annual energy and water performance of a building, is required annually as of July 1, 2017. Compliance for annual energy and water benchmarking is required for privately owned buildings 20,000 sq. ft. or more. The current building owner is responsible for submitting energy use data for all previous and current compliance years (if compliance was not previously met). Buildings required to comply with EBEWE include commercial, multi – family and industrial buildings.

The square footage requirement pertains to an entire building. Multiple buildings on a parcel added together exceeding 20, 000 sq. ft. would not require compliance.

The property’s LA City Building ID can be found on the LADBS EBEWE Compliance Notice

PHASE I Exemptions


This ordinance shall not apply to one and two family dwellings and related accessory structures; residential hotels as defined by the California Health and Safety Code Section 50519; broadcast antennas; vehicle charging stations; utility pumping stations; treatment facilities; sound stages; structures primarily used for the production and post-production of motion pictures and television, and similar uses; and other buildings not meeting the purpose of this ordinance, as determined by the Department of Building and Safety.


The owner of a building subject to this ordinance shall not be required to file a benchmarking report for a reporting year if any of the following conditions apply:

a. The building did not have a Certificate of Occupancy or Temporary Certificate of Occupancy for the entire calendar year required to be benchmarked;

b. The entire building was not occupied, due to renovation, for the entire calendar year required to be benchmarked;

c. The demolition permit for the entire building has been issued and demolition work has commenced on or before the date the benchmarking report is due for that calendar year;

d. The building did not receive energy or water services for the entire calendar year required to be benchmarked.

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PHASE II: Energy Audit, Retro-Commissioning, or Meet an Exemption

Buildings over 20,000 sq. ft. may have to undergo an Energy Audit, based on the Energy Star score and Source EUI, and Retro-Commissioning. See exemptions below for more information.

A) Energy Audit: The in-depth identification and documentation of a building’s energy and water-use equipment. Audit examines existing conditions to pinpoint potential areas of improvement for energy and water efficiency. Must meet or exceed ASHRAE Level 2 standards.

B) Retro-Commissioning: Focus will be on the maintenance and repairs identified by the Energy Audit.

Buildings that meet one of the below exemptions do not have to go through an Energy Audit nor Retro-Commissioning.

PHASE II Exemptions

*All exemptions must be certified by, or performed under the supervision of, a California licensed architect or engineer.
Energy Exemptions to the Audit and Retro-Commissioning Process:
  • Energy Star Certification*: The building has received this certification from the EPA for the year of the building’s compliance due date.
  • Energy Star Certification*: The building has received this certification from the EPA for two of the three years preceding the building’s compliance due date.
  • For buildings not eligible to receive an Energy Star score, the building must perform 25% better than the national median provided by the Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) (if this score exists) of similar building types.
  • The building has reduced its Source Energy Use Intensity (EUI) by 15% when compared to the five years before a building’s compliance due date.
  • Buildings that do not have a central cooling system or have a cooling system having an aggregate input capacity of less than 100 refrigeration tons (1,200,000 Btu/h) must retrofit four of six energy efficiency measures noted in the EBEWE guidelines (available upon request)

*Requires Energy Star score greater than 75.

Water Exemptions to the Audit and Retro-Commissioning:
  • The building has reduced its water use intensity by at least 20% when compared to the five years prior to the building’s compliance due date.
  • Buildings that do not have a central cooling system or with a cooling system that does not operate by the consumption of water as part of the cooling process must retrofit two of three water efficiency measures noted in the EBEWE guidelines (available upon request).
  • The building’s water use conforms to the LA Municipal and Title 24 Code in effect at any time during the five year compliance cycle.
  • The building is new and has been occupied for less than five years from its occupancy date based on the Temporary or final Certificate of Occupancy.

**All exemptions must be certified by a California licensed architect or engineer.**


Reporting fees: (SEC. 91.9710)

  • Annual Disclosure Compliance Fee (Sec. 91.9710.1) will charge the building owner $61 for each Annual Benchmarking Report submitted to the Department.
  • Audit and Retro-Commissioning Compliance Fee (Sec. 91.9710.2) will charge the building owner $183 for each Confirmation of Audit and Retro-Commissioning submitted to the Department during a five – year compliance cycle.

Noncompliance fee

Failure to comply with this ordinance shall subject the building owner to noncompliance fees as specified in Section 98.0411 of the LA Municipal Code, except that the amount of the fee shall be $202. This fee is subject to double digit interest each month.

Educational Opportunities Are Available

If you are interested in having Marika come present to your office about EBEWE Los Angeles Ordinance and provide an update on AB 802, California’s Energy Disclosure law, please email Marika@greeneconome.com.

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Contact GreenEconoME, an Energy Consulting and Construction firm specializing in Energy Star Benchmarking and energy efficiency. We can handle your energy compliance and disclosure needs, as well as answer any questions regarding this ordinance and how it may impact your building(s). We also specialize in LED lighting retrofits and HVAC controls.

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