State estimates on cost of new lighting rules far too low

State estimates on cost of new lighting rules far too low

CA_Energy_CommissionIt looks like California business interests have yet another example of state bureaucrats downplaying or ignoring the cost of new regulations. The Voice of San Diego has a story that seems likely to end up producing headlines around the state.

New retrofit mandates meant to lower energy use and eventually costs are leaving many California companies with an early case of sticker shock.

The state Energy Commission says part of that might be the businesses’ fault and that some are misinterpreting the regulations and overestimating what they must do to comply.

In July, the state updated lighting requirements in the building code as part of an effort to lower commercial energy use by 30 percent. Business owners, electrical engineers and landlords say the new standards could add tens of thousands of dollars to companies’ cost to move into or upgrade already existing buildings.

The new rules set a lower cap on lighting wattage per square foot and encourage commercial property owners to outfit their buildings with controls and sensors that automatically dim lights when a room is unoccupied, or if natural light allows for lower intensity.

So many rules we barely hear about

If you haven’t heard about these rules, that’s because California promulgates so many such rules that the media often don’t cover them — unless the fallout hits pretty broadly.

But because of California’s role as a global laboratory for environmental regulation, lots of people outside CA pay attention to our rule-making. This unfolding debacle has already been featured prominently on the Real Clear Energy website, which has an international readership.

Here’s one of the horror stories the VOSD report cited:

The mandate to make those upgrades [even at properties that have undertaken conservation measures] can result in higher rents and less favorable leases for businesses moving in, said … David Marino, executive vice president of Hughes Marino, a commercial real estate company. …

Jim Herr, president of commercial furniture supplier Parron Hall Office Interiors, is one of those business owners facing a larger bill.

Hughes Marino has estimated the new regulatory changes will translate into a $64,000 to $72,000 bump in electrical retrofit work at the Kearny Mesa building Herr’s hoping to move into.

Herr is still negotiating his lease but hopes to secure one for about seven years. He doesn’t expect to reap energy savings that come anywhere close to the expense during his lease.

It could scarcely be more obvious that these rules weren’t thought through to consider their short- and medium-term effects on renters and property owners — because who cares about their interests inside the state Energy Commission?

I’ll give the final word on the new rules to Marino: They’re “the stupidest thing I’ve seen in my 25 years of commercial real estate.”


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  1. Queeg
    Queeg 30 November, 2014, 08:35

    The waste of energy in buildings is legion.

    The discussed solution had to be dreamed up by those Earth Day hugging snots doing the bidding of the slaver High Tech Imperialists!

    Reply this comment
  2. Donkey
    Donkey 30 November, 2014, 16:17

    These are educated morons making decisions about every lighting situation that can take place and condensing down to one use, which is bad for all, not unlike government healthcare.

    Now take a look at police departments. Low IQ sociopaths implementing regulations and fomenting policies that allow police to disregard the Bill of Rights and murder anyone they come in contact with, all they need to say is that someone called! 🙂

    Reply this comment
  3. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 30 November, 2014, 20:35

    Did the policia beat ya?

    Reply this comment
    • Donkey
      Donkey 3 December, 2014, 15:21

      Ahaul, you have the thinking capacity of a fly, pack and ship you RAGWUS sniffing toady. 🙂

      Reply this comment
  4. Dork
    Dork 1 December, 2014, 06:31

    “It could scarcely be more obvious that these rules weren’t thought through to consider their short- and medium-term effects on renters and property owners – ”

    It has always astonished me as to why so many people are willing to give these people the benefit of doubt. To grant these folks the Benefit of Doubt, one must take the position that they are all the dumbest people on earth. Personally, I don’t think they are stupid, I think they know exactly what they are doing. All these “regulations” are focused grouped, carefully thought out, and ran through countless scenario’s before implementation, especially for the long run. I do not believe they are that shortsighted. I believe they are JUST PLAIN EVIL in their Hearts.

    So my question is: Why Would anybody give these people the Benefit of Doubt???

    Reply this comment
  5. Angus
    Angus 1 December, 2014, 19:02

    This is petty and silly. The regulators will be eaten on their desks by the needy once the goodies stop coming in 2015. Free lunch is over, but people will want dinner.

    Reply this comment
  6. Queeg
    Queeg 1 December, 2014, 19:45

    When the new visitors are welcomed their health care will be paid for with no copays or deductibles by government while globalists and high tech imperialists hire them on the cheap.

    Angus…..chaw on it Bro!

    Reply this comment

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