Release: Gov. Newsom signs the Building Energy Savings Act

Media Contacts

SB 48 (Becker) will save energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in California’s biggest buildings

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Gov. Gavin Newsom on Saturday signed legislation to increase energy efficiency in California’s biggest commercial buildings. SB 48 was authored by Sen. Josh Becker and sponsored by Environment California and the Institute for Market Transformation.

“The Building Energy Savings Act will help save California’s climate by saving energy and saving money,” said Steven King, Environment California’s clean energy advocate. “Gov. Newsom has taken an important step to upgrade the state’s big buildings for a greener, more resilient future.”

SB 48 directs the state’s Energy Commission to develop a strategy to improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in commercial buildings of more than 50,000 square feet. The Energy Commission will leverage data that utility companies already collect to devise this strategy.

“Improving building efficiency is one of the best ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that warm our climate while also saving energy and money in the process,” said Sen. Josh Becker (Menlo Park). “California’s biggest buildings will soon save a lot more energy and become cleaner, more efficient, and more comfortable.” 

During increasingly hot Californian summers, maintaining energy grid reliability has been challenging. The Golden State can address this challenge by ensuring that buildings — especially large ones that consume a lot of resources — use energy more efficiently. While California’s codes demand that new and renovated buildings achieve high efficiency standards, many older buildings waste far more energy than they should. Commercial buildings with more than 50,000 square feet make up a small portion of California’s commercial building stock but consume a disproportionate amount of energy. SB 48 will help address this energy waste by recommending ways to improve energy efficiency in California.