There are so many obstacles to being Energy Smart in America and American culture. Whether it is subsidized parking at the office huring transit ridership to (most) mortgage companies not recognizing the value of energy efficiency in a home to tax code that gives preference to operating costs (using energy) over capital costs (e.g., energy efficiency investments, the US system is filled with disincentives to being smarter in terms of our energy use.
One of the arenas of problems is how to foster greater energy efficiency in rental spaces, including commercial spaces. Well, California might have taken one step toward breaking one disincentive toward more energy efficient commercial rental space.
When it comes to commercial spaces (whether office or retail), “many states have regulations which allow only one meter per building, and charges are generally divvied up by square footage.” Thus, the big tenant that invests in energy efficiency is likely to have to pay for the energy wastage of smaller tenants. Can we speak to disincentive, anyone? And, this becomes something of a death spiral, as each tenant could look to the inefficiency of the other and decide, ‘why not’.
California regulators have just moved to allow PG&E and building owners to install meters for every tenant. The ‘submetering’, it is hoped, will provide real incentives for every tenant to conserve electricity.
Hat tip to EcoIron.