BuildingRating

Sharing Transparency for a More Efficient Future

Austin

Austin, Texas, photo by Randall Stevens
Policy Description:

On Nov. 6, 2008, the Austin City Council approved the Energy Conservation Audit and Disclosure Ordinance (#20081106-047), one of the most aggressive pieces of building energy efficiency legislation in the nation. It requires building energy rating and disclosure for nonresidential facilities and mandatory energy audits for homes and apartment complexes. Some apartment complexes are also required to undergo energy retrofits. The ordinance became effective in June 2009. It supports former Austin Mayor Will Wynn's Climate Protection Plan, launched in 2007, that aims to offset 700 megawatts of peak energy demand by 2020 to reduce Austin's carbon footprint. The ordinance was crafted by the Austin Energy Efficiency Retrofit Task Force with input from local realtors and other parties. The law requires energy audits and upgrades in addition to a commercial building energy rating and disclosure mandate. Effective June 1, 2009, residences with four or fewer units, including all single-family homes, must complete an energy audit prior to the sale of the property and provide a copy of the results of the audit to prospective purchasers. A range of exemptions are available, including for homes built within 10 years of the sale date, all condominiums or voluntary participation in some Austin Energy Utility programs. Audits are valid for 10 years. Apartment buildings older than 10 years must have an energy audit by June 1, 2011, while buildings less than 10 years old are required to perform an audit within 10 years of the completion of construction. The results of the audit must be posted within the building and provided to prospective tenants and buyers. Additionally, "high energy-use" properties consuming more than 150% of the average multifamily energy use per SF in Austin must make energy retrofits within 18 months to bring the property to within 110% of the average.

Enacted Date:
2008
Authority in Charge:
Director of the Austin Electric Utility
Tool Name:
ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager
Building Types Affected Size Compliance Deadline
Non-Residential Greater Than or Equal To 75,000 Sq. Feet 2012-06-01
Non-Residential Greater Than or Equal To 30,000 Sq. Feet 2013-06-01
Non-Residential Greater Than or Equal To 10,000 Sq. Feet 2014-06-01
Multi-Family Greater Than or Equal To 5 Dwellings 2011-06-01
Single-Family ALL 2009-06-01
Public/Government Greater Than or Equal To 10,000 Sq. Feet 2014-06-01
Number of Buildings Affected:
2,800
Floor Area Affected:
113,000,000 Sq. Feet
Transparency:
Required Transparency:
Yes
Recipients:
Buyers
Transparency Trigger:
Point of Transaction
Transparency Trigger Events:
Purchase/sell (required)
Required Transparency:
Yes
Recipients:
Lessees
Transparency Trigger:
Point of Transaction
Transparency Trigger Events:
Rent (required)
Reporting:
Required Reporting:
Yes
Reporting Trigger:
Date Certain
Reporting Frequency:
Annually

Utility Requirements/Support:

Utility Requirements/Support:
Yes
Notes:
Works with municipal utility Austin Energy. Properties may be exempted if they participated in a utility rebate program.

Verification:

Verification:
No

Compliance:

Compliance Enforcement:
Yes
Penalties for Non-Compliance:
Yes
Description:
Proof of culpable mental state is not required for a fine of up to $500. If a person acts with criminal negligence, a fine of up to $2,000 may be assessed.
Notes:
Exemptions are allowed when: a) due to special circumstances unique to the applicant's facility and not based on a condition caused by actions of the applicant, strict compliance with provisions of this chapter would cause undue hardship; b) due to exhaustion of reasonable energy efficiency measures, full compliance would require performance of work excluded from the scope of Section 6-7-23(B); c) application for a permit to substantially remodel or demolish the facility will be filed not later than 6 months after the time of sale; and in the case of a remodel, the owner and the purchaser of the facility have entered into a binding agreement whereby the purchaser of the facility agrees to complete an energy audit within a specified period of time after remodel of the facility is complete; d) the director determines that the facility cannot be adequately evaluated using currently available audit or rating tools; or e) by filing an application with the director
Additional Program Information:
Audits:
Yes
Retrocommissioning:
No
Water Use Tracking:
No