Two years ago, the City began exploring ways to reduce energy and water use from its largest consumers: buildings. The result is a policy that will transform L.A.’s skyline from the inside out. The Existing Building Energy and Water Efficiency ordinance (EBEWE) was signed into law by Mayor Garcetti on December 15, 2016. Under the new ordinance, all buildings larger than 20,000 square feet, and all municipal buildings larger than 7,500 square feet, must benchmark and publish their annual energy and water consumption levels.
By creating transparency in the real estate marketplace, EBEWE lets buyers and renters factor energy and water efficiency into their negotiations while helping the City understand the opportunities to help address consumption.
The ordinance also requires owners of inefficient buildings to take specific action—from energy and water audits to retro-commissioning—that improves building performance. The City Energy Project, a joint initiative of the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Institute for Market Transformation, has estimated that by 2025 this ordinance alone will have reduced energy use by 7 percent, cut greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent and saved Angelenos $368 million on their annual utility bills.