Domain 2 and Domain 7 Earn 2017 ENERGY STAR Certification

Congratulations to TIER REIT and Endeavor Real Estate Group for achieving the EPA’s 2017 ENERGY STAR® Certification for Domain 2 and Domain 7!

Both are Class “A” office buildings located at The Domain in Northwest Austin, Texas and have received the ENERGY STAR two years in a row.  Blue Ocean Energy was chosen to assist the owner and property managers in obtaining this esteemed award.

This certification represents proven, verified superior energy performance over a 12-month period. ENERGY STAR certified buildings perform in the top 25% of similar buildings nationwide and use on average 35% less energy versus similar buildings.

Blue Ocean speaks to Cousins Properties Austin

Bo Petersen, Senior Vice President at Blue Ocean Energy Management, was invited to speak to Cousins Properties Austin today.

This workshop informed the property management team and building engineers of Austin Energy’s rate plans including the November 1st change, along with explanation of Peak Demand and Load Factor.

The presentation ended with discussion of the top ten energy saving recommendations for office buildings including the importance of benchmarking energy and water usage.

Austin Energy Rates & ENERGY STAR November 2017

As you are probably aware, Austin Energy just approved a new rate plan which becomes effective on November 1, 2017. Although these new rates are not available yet on the Austin Energy website, the rate plan was distributed by Austin Energy’s key account group, as well as BOMA Austin. Unfortunately, these distributions included a number of “typos,” originally indicating fuel cost (PSA) increases of 17%.

The good news is that Austin Energy has now sent out a corrected rate plan. In the image below, we are comparing the current rate plan with the rate plan that becomes effective on November 1st for buildings inside the Austin city limits, that are either on the 300kW plus or the 10kW – 300 kW rate plan.

As you can see, the fuel cost is increasing by almost 8% during the 8 non-summer months. We have calculated the implication for a typical commercial office building, and it would appear that on average the monthly Austin Energy utility cost will increase between 2 and 2.5%.

As there have been at least two previous rate plans distributed by Austin Energy, we want to stress that we cannot guarantee this will be the final version. Should a new rate plan be distributed by Austin Energy, we will update accordingly.

Many of our clients were surprised to hear about the increase in fuel cost (PSA). As we understand it, the fuel cost is intended to reflect Austin Energy’s cost of fueling their power plants. As these prices are influenced by market forces, the argument is that Austin Energy can pass increases (or decreases) to their customer base without the approval of the Austin City Council. In the past, Austin Energy has only changed these rates once or twice per year. Other utilities (CPS Energy in San Antonio, for example), change the fuel component on every invoice.

ENERGY STAR News

Please note that the EPA has extended the deadline for applying for ENERGY STAR® Certification for 2017 until December 15th. Blue Ocean has grown our portfolio of clients we assist with the ENERGY STAR certification process and to date we have certified approximately 30% of all office buildings in the Austin area.

Today is ENERGY STAR Day! Give us a call if you are interested in achieving the ENERGY STAR certification.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact us at:
Office: 512-600-7060
Email: BP@BlueOceanEnergy.net
Visit our website: www.Blueoceanenergy.net

Prominent Pointe I in Austin, Texas achieves ENERGY STAR Certification!

Congratulations to Prominent Pointe I, located at 8310 North Capital Hwy, Austin, TX 78731, for achieving the EPA’s ENERGY STAR® certification for 2017!

Prominent Pointe I is leased and managed by Peloton Commercial Real Estate – one of the leading commercial real estate companies in Austin, Texas. Peloton partnered with Blue Ocean Energy Management in obtaining ENERGY STAR Certification this year.

Prominent Pointe I realizes benefits for the property owner and tenants. This certification represents proven, verified superior energy performance over a 12-month period. ENERGY STAR certified buildings perform in the top 25 percent of similar buildings nationwide!

Blue Ocean Celebrates Energy Efficiency Day 2017

In recognition of the second annual national Energy Efficiency Day (EE Day) today, Blue Ocean is joining regional and national organizations, businesses, utilities, and individuals working to promote energy efficiency – the cheapest, quickest way to meet our energy needs, cut consumer bills and reduce pollution.

Smarter energy use means we don’t have to generate as much power to meet needs.

Blue Ocean has already helped our top ten clients reduce electricity consumption by 16,173,824 kWh (or 34%) over the past 5 years. This amount of electricity is equal to 402,927 incandescent lamps switched to LED or the electricity usage of 1,678 homes in one year (source www.Epa.gov/energy/greenhouse-gas-equivalencies-calculator).

An energy-efficient economy is free to thrive and innovate. Electricity use was 5 percent lower in 2016 than in 2010, while the U.S. economy grew by almost 13 percent over those years, demonstrating that efficiency and economic growth go hand-in-hand. Reducing the energy used by manufacturers, homes and businesses benefits everyone – especially energy bill-payers.

Energy efficiency is also an economic engine, supporting 2.2 million jobs nationwide in manufacturing, construction and other fields – most of which can’t be outsourced overseas.

Source: http://energyefficiencyday.org

UFCU Plaza and Aquila Commercial receive seventh ENERGY STAR!

Congratulations to UFCU Plaza, located Mopac and Steck, for achieving the EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification for SEVEN consecutive years 2011 – 2017! Only a hand-full of buildings in Austin have realized this achievement for so many years in a row.

UFCU Plaza is leased and managed by Austin-leader in commercial real estate, Aquila Commercial. UFCU and Aquila partner with Blue Ocean Energy Management in obtaining ENERGY STAR Certification each year.

With this certification, UFCU Plaza realizes benefits for the property owner and tenants. This building has lower utility costs compared to similar office buildings and thus lower greenhouse gas emissions, both vital in enhancing asset value. Congratulations to all!

Blue Ocean and BOMA Austin working to improve ECAD Compliance

Blue Ocean Energy and BOMA Austin are working together to help improve the commercial ECAD compliance process. Earlier this month a notice went out from Austin Energy to all commercial office properties advising “it’s not too late” to comply with the ECAD June 1 reporting requirement. The problem was, many of the recipients of the notice were already in compliance. Blue Ocean’s Bo Petersen brought the issue to the attention of the BOMA Austin Sustainability Committee who raised the issue with the Austin Energy Major Accounts team.

The result was Austin Energy decided to implement a couple of changes based on the BOMA Austin and Blue Ocean Energy information. Austin Energy immediately provided a copy of the Portfolio Manager data to the Customer Information Group to ensure they could see the Portfolio Manager submissions. Next, they initiated a plan to send a letter to all customers who have complied using Portfolio Manager. This letter is a “thank you” for their Portfolio Manager submission which means Austin Energy will notify them that the submission was received.

To read the post on the BOMA Austin website click here.

Blue Ocean Energy to speak at IFMA Austin luncheon

Our very own Bo Petersen will be speaking to IFMA Austin (International Facility Management Association) on November 10th at 11:30 am at Fleming’s in The Domain. Bo will be covering the following topics during his presentation: Austin Energy’s new rate structure and the impact on your bill, Understanding Peak Demand and Load Factor, Benchmarking buildings, ECAD Compliance using the EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. If you missed the BOMA Austin presentation, here is your chance! To register please go the IFMA Austin site: click here

New Austin Energy Rates

Austin Energy (AE) finally settled on a new rate structure for all customers. In general, most, if not all AE customers, will see a decrease in energy costs.  For commercial accounts, the reduction will be most pronounced during the summer months as AE is eliminating the seasonality charges for peak demand and energy charges.  The new rates will be implemented over a two month period starting with the November 2016 AE invoice.

The biggest change, in our view, is the changes to the commercial customer rate classes.  Please recall that the commercial rate applicable to your property depends on which “demand class” your property belongs to as measured (metered) by summer month’s peak demand (kW).

The bulk of Austin Energy’s commercial customers fall into two rate classes based on peak demand. Smaller commercial properties are typical in the 10>50kW rate class and larger commercial properties in the 50kW and greater rate class.  With the new rate plan the commercial rate classes are changed per the chart above.

Please note that AE has not yet published the approved rate plan but we believe the information provided above to be correct. Unfortunately, it is not all good news as some components of the AE rate plan will result in increases of certain charges. Furthermore, it is our view that the recent increase in energy prices, specifically natural gas prices will result in AE having to increase the fuel charge (Power Supply Adjustment) in 2017.

If you want to find out more about Austin Energy’s new rate structure for commercial properties the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) Austin, who was a key player in the rate discussions, is hosting a seminar on October 13th at Frost Bank where Blue Ocean will be talking about the new rates, load factor, peak demand and managing your electric bills. The seminar is open to all.

Blue Ocean Energy to speak with BOMA Austin: Managing your Electric Bill

Blue Ocean Energy to speak with BOMA Austin: Seminar Managing your Electric Bill: We will save you money!

Thursday, October 13, 2016 located Frost Bank Tower: 401 Congress Ave, 11th Floor Conf Center, Austin, Texas  78701

Our very own Bo Petersen will be speaking to Building Owners and Managers (BOMA) Austin as a member of the sustainability committee. Bo will be covering the following topics during his presentation: Austin Energy’s new rate structure and the impact on your bill, Understanding Peak Demand and Load Factor, Benchmarking buildings,  ECAD Compliance using the EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager

Read more on the BOMA Austin site: click here