Frequently asked questions: AB 801 Building Energy Benchmarking Program 

When do I need to start reporting to the California Energy Commission (CEC)?


  • 6/1/2018 Commercial Reporting to the CEC begins.
  • 6/1/2019 Multifamily Reporting to the CEC begins.

1. Who has to report?


  • This program applies to nonresidential buildings above 50,000 gross square feet of floor area and multifamily buildings over 50,000 gross square feet with 17 or more utility accounts.
  • The Energy Benchmark reports are due annually for commercial buildings starting on June 1, 2018.
  • Multifamily buildings begin reporting June 1, 2019.
  • The results of the Energy Benchmarks will be made public a year after the first Benchmark reports are due.
  • AB 802 requires utilities to provide the required energy consumption data (13 months of energy-use data) within 14 days of the request. The utility will provide "whole building" (aggregated) energy-use data to building owners without obtaining tenant authorization - if the number of utility accounts in the building meet the required minimum.

2. Where will I get the building’s consumption data?

The City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU) can supply you with your utility consumption data. You can request the data by sending an email to this email address:

3. When will tenant authorization be required?

Tenant authorization will be required under these conditions:

  • If you are the building owner but not the utility account holder.
  • For buildings with fewer than three commercial utility accounts.
  • For buildings with fewer than five residential utility accounts.
  • For buildings with fewer than a combination of five residential and commercial utility accounts.

4. What can happen if a building owner does not comply with the law?

Building owners who do not comply (as well as those submitting incorrect or incomplete data) are subject to civil
penalties. The California Public Resource Code §25321 has set this amount at $500 to $2,000 per day.

5. Are any buildings exempt?

 Some reporting exemptions apply if:

  • The building did not have a certificate of occupancy during the 12-month reporting period.
  • The building is scheduled to be demolished within one year of the reporting data.
  • The building is covered by an approved local building energy-use benchmarking program. The building has more than half of the gross floor area used for scientific experiments requiring a controlled environment or industrial purposes.

6. What do I do with the consumption data once I get it from the City of Palo Alto Utilities?

The building data will be placed into a template spreadsheet provided by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and uploaded into the software program called Portfolio Manager.

7. Will I have to create an account for my building to use the Portfolio Manager software?

Yes, each building owner will have to have an account to use Portfolio Manager.

8. Where can I create a Portfolio Manager account for my building(s)?

You can create an account for your buildings by visiting the ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager® website.

9. Still have a question?

Contact CPAU at (650) 329-2251 or email