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


Congratulations to UFCU Plaza, located at the corner of Mopac and Steck, for achieving the EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification for six consecutive years – 2010 – 2016! UFCU Plaza is leased and managed by one of Austin’s leaders in commercial real estate, Aquila Commercial, and is managed by Pat Goerner on behalf of University Federal Credit Union. UFCU and Aquila partner with Blue Ocean Energy Management to coordinate the documentation required to apply for this certification. UFCU Plaza is one of only three commercial properties in Austin to achieve this significant milestone. This building is considered ‘high-performing’ which means it is in the top 10% of similar office buildings in terms of energy use intensity.

With the ENERGY STAR certification, UFCU Plaza realizes many benefits for the property owner and for the businesses with offices in the building as well as for the Austin community. Specifically, this building has lower utility costs compared to similar office buildings and thus lower greenhouse gas emissions, both of which are vital to the sustainability of our natural resources and enhance the value of the asset. Achieving this high level of performance offers many rewards and requires the commitment of the owner and the property management company as well as the manager who is responsible for the building operations on a daily basis.

Energy Conservation Audit and Disclosure (ECAD) Ordinance News

In the past week, Austin Energy has been sending out letters to building owners/managers about properties not being in compliance with the ECAD Ordinance. Unfortunately, many Austin Energy customers are receiving this type of letter in error due to the changes in Portfolio Manager (PM) which is the tool utilized for ECAD compliance. The options on how to report via PM changed last year and this is causing issues for Austin Energy’s software.