On behalf of The Silicon Valley Organization (The SVO), I am writing to express support for the staff recommendation to approve an ordinance to meet energy and water building performance targets, consistent with the vision of the Climate Smart San José action plan. By way of background, The SVO is the Silicon Valley’s premier business advocacy organization representing 1,400+ companies that employ nearly 300,000 workers and we represent our membership as the region’s largest Chamber of Commerce.
With the passage of AB 802 during the 2015-16 legislative session, the state of California created an energy benchmarking policy for buildings larger than 50,000 square feet. AB 802 also requires that performance metrics and energy use data would be made publicly available. The City of San José has set a more aggressive target to collect data from commercial buildings and multi-family properties larger than 20,000 square feet, in order to implement a plan that meets the goals of Climate Smart San José and to encourage energy efficiency in the city’s existing building stock.
Throughout this year, The SVO has been a participant in the stakeholder meetings, convened by city staff in order to receive feedback from the community. We observe that the proposed ordinance strikes a balance between meeting the city’s energy efficiency and climate change objectives. The ordinance also provides flexible compliance options for small property owners to meet performance targets that are phased in over time, creates savings for tenants, and creates local jobs. The desired outcome is to provide insights into a building’s performance and give an opportunity for small building owners to do their part to meet Climate Smart San José’s energy targets. We hope that the city will prioritize enough resources to support small property owners to meet energy efficiency goals and to provide educational training resources to building owners, before enforcing penalties to achieve compliance.
For these reasons and more, The SVO supports the stated goals of the proposed ordinance to increase energy efficiency performance goals throughout San José.