Florida Energy-Efficiency Ratings Act

 3d building next to a gavel1993 Florida Building Energy-Efficiency Ratings Act
(As amended)

Section 12.  Part XI of chapter 553, Florida Statutes, consisting of
sections 553.990, 553.991, 553.992, 553.993, 553.994, 553.995, 553.996, 553.997,
553.998 is created to read:

553.990  Short title.

This part may be cited as the “Florida Building Energy-Efficiency Rating Act.”

553.991  Purpose.

The purpose of this part is to provide for a statewide uniform system for rating the energy efficiency of buildings.  It is in the interest of the state to encourage the consideration of the energy-efficiency rating system in the market so as to provide market rewards for energy-efficient buildings and to those persons or companies designing, building, or selling energy-efficient buildings.

553.992  Adoption of rating system.

The Department of Community Affairs shall adopt, update, and maintain a statewide uniform building energy-efficiency rating system to implement the provisions of this part and amendments thereto in accordance with the procedures of chapter 120.

553.993  Definitions.

For purposes of this part:

(1) “Acquisition” means to gain the sole or partial use of a building through a purchase agreement.
(2) “Builder” means the primary contractor who possesses the requisite skill, knowledge, and experience, and has the responsibility, to supervise, direct, manage, and control the contracting activities of the business
organization with which he is connected and who has the responsibility to supervise, direct manage and control the construction work on a job for which he has obtained the building permit.  Construction work includes, but is not limited to, foundation, framing, wiring, plumbing, and finishing work.
(3) “Designer” means the architect, engineer, landscape architect, builder, interior designer, or other person who performs the actual design work or under whose direct supervision and responsible charge the construction documents are prepared.
(4) “New building” means commercial occupancy buildings permitted for construction after January 1, 1995, and residential occupancy buildings permitted for construction after January 1, 1994.
(5) “Public building” means a building comfort-conditioned for occupancy that is owned or leased by the state, a state agency, or a governmental subdivision, including, but not limited to, a city, county, or school district.

553.994  Applicability.

The rating system shall apply to all public, commercial, and residential buildings in the state.

553.995 Energy-efficiency ratings for buildings.

(1) The energy-efficiency rating system shall at a minimum:
(a)  Provide a uniform ratings scale of the efficiency of buildings based on annual energy use.
(b) Take into account local climate conditions, construction practices, and building use.
(c) Be compatible with standard federal rating systems and state building codes and standards, where applicable, and shall satisfy the requirements of s. 553.9085 with respect to residential buildings and s. 255.256 with respect to state buildings.
(2) The energy-efficiency rating system adopted by the department shall provide a means of analyzing and comparing the relative energy efficiency of buildings upon the sale of new or existing residential, public, or commercial buildings.
(3) The department shall establish a voluntary working group of persons interested in the energy-efficiency rating system or energy efficiency, including, but not limited to, such persons as electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, architects, public utilities, and builders.  The interest group shall advise the department in the development of the energy-efficiency rating system and shall assist the department in the implementation of the rating system by coordinating educational programs for designers, builders, businesses, and other interested persons to assist compliance and to facilitate incorporation of the rating system into existing practices.
(4) The department shall develop a training and certification program to certify raters.  In addition to the department, ratings may be conducted by any local government or private entity, provided that the appropriate persons have completed the necessary training and have been certified by the department. The
Department of Management Services shall rate state-owned or state-leased buildings, provided that the appropriate persons have completed the necessary training and have been certified by the Department of Community Affairs. A state agency which has building construction regulation authority may rate its own
buildings and those it is responsible for, if the appropriate persons have completed the necessary training and have been certified by the Department of Community Affairs.  The Department of Community Affairs may charge a fee not to exceed the costs for the training and certification of raters. The department shall by rule set the appropriate charges for raters to charge for energy ratings, not to exceed the actual costs.

553.996  Energy-efficiency information brochure.

A prospective purchaser of real property with a building for occupancy located thereon shall be provided with a copy of an information brochure, at the time of or prior to the purchaser’s execution of the contract for sale and purchase, notifying the purchaser of the option for an energy-efficiency rating on the building.  Such brochure shall be prepared, made available for distribution, and provided at no cost by the department. (Click here for “How Does Your Commercial Building Measure Up?” brochure.) Such brochure shall contain information relevant to that class of building, including, but not limited to:
(1) How to analyze the building’s energy-efficiency rating.
(2) Comparisons to statewide averages for new and existing construction of that class.
(3) Information concerning methods to improve the building’s energy-efficiency rating.
(4) A notice to residential purchasers that the energy-efficiency rating may qualify the purchaser for an energy-efficient mortgage from lending institutions.

553.997  Public buildings.

(1) Each public building proposed for construction, renovation, or acquisition shall be rated pursuant to the energy-efficiency rating system provided in s. 553.995 prior to contracting for construction, renovation, or acquisition. The public body proposing to contract for construction, renovation, or acquisition of a public building shall consider the energy-efficiency rating when comparing contract alternatives, notwithstanding the provisions of s. 255.254.
(2) The department, together with other state agencies having building construction and maintenance responsibilities, shall make available energy-efficiency practices information to be used by individuals involved in the design, construction, retrofitting, and maintenance of buildings for state and local governments.

553.998  Compliance.

All ratings shall be determined using tools and procedures adopted by the department by rule in accordance with chapter 120 and shall be certified by the rater as accurate and correct and in compliance with procedures adopted by the department by rule in accordance with chapter 120.