ECAD for Commercial Buildings
Why is there an Energy Conservation and Disclosure (ECAD) ordinance?
ECAD improves energy efficiency by requiring energy audits or energy benchmarking that uncovers energy improvement opportunities. Commercial building owners are required to report an energy benchmark rating to the City of Austin.
How do I determine my commercial building’s energy benchmark?
You have a choice to use either the Key Code Reporting option or the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager option.
When is my commercial building’s energy benchmark due?
All non-manufacturing buildings (those not qualifying for the manufacturing exemption) must report an energy benchmark rating to the City of Austin by June 1st of each year.
Do I need to rate my building if I rated it last year and submitted it to Austin Energy?
Yes. You must rate your building each year from the initial reporting date. Each energy benchmark must be done in the calendar year in which it is required.
Is my industrial building exempt?
No. Only buildings that qualify for a tax exemption from the State of Texas for manufacturing are not required to rate their building. The manufacturing tax exemption for electricity must also be filed with Austin Energy.
Manufacturing means a use that has met all requirements of a State of Texas sales tax exemption for manufacturing, processing, or fabricating tangible personal property for sale and the utility account holder has qualified for a Predominant Use Exemption for the Utility account(s) of the entire commercial facility.
What should I do if my commercial building has not yet been required to submit a rating and I decide to sell it?
It is the seller’s responsibility to report the building’s energy benchmark rating to Austin Energy and disclose the score with potential buyers.
When do I have to disclose the building’s energy benchmark to the buyer of my commercial property?
You must disclose this to the buyer at the time of sale.
The building’s Commercial Energy Guide Report or the Portfolio Manager “Statement of Energy Performance” report from the prior year must be disclosed to the buyer before the sales contract is executed.
Energy Efficiency Improvements
Are commercial buildings that do not meet the minimum rating required to make energy-efficiency upgrades?
No. Energy efficiency upgrades are not required. The City of Austin has set voluntary energy efficiency goals for commercial buildings.
Austin Energy supports the city’s energy efficiency goals by encouraging participation in its commercial energy-efficiency rebate and incentive programs.
Is financing available for commercial buildings that want to make energy efficiency upgrades?
Yes. PACE financing enables owners of non-profit, commercial, and industrial properties to obtain low-cost, long-term financing for water and energy efficiency improvements and solar generation retrofits. Private sector lenders in Travis and Williamson counties finance qualified improvements and property owners voluntarily agree to contractual assessments imposed on the property. PACE improvements generate positive cash flow with no out-of-pocket cost to the property owner. If the property is sold before the full amount is repaid, the repayment obligation automatically transfers to the next owner. PACE assessments complement Austin Energy incentive programs.
Learn more about the Texas PACE Authority
Browse Texas PACE Authority case studies and other resources
If you have not received information regarding the ECAD ordinance reporting process for commercial building owners, please call 512-482-5346 or email us for assistance.