Overtime Utilities: FAQs

If you don't find your question and answer below, please submit your question to the PBS OU Help Desk.

 

  1. Is there a mechanism for tenants to make a claim and receive a credit when it is believed that required services during the 10-hour day are not consistently provided? For 10-hour day service issues, work with the GSA Property Manager and Regional Account Manager to resolve any disputes on Service Disruptions.
  2. If a TENANT regularly requires greater than 10-hours of services per day, can the lease or occupancy agreement be adjusted to increase or change “normal base operating hours” in order to reduce overall costs? For Federally-Owned space, standard utility services included in the operating rent are based on the value of a one-shift office operation, Monday through Friday, excluding federal holidays.  PBS provides a consistent heating or cooling temperature for one shift (minimum of 10 operating hours).  GSA Pricing Desk Guide For leased locations, if the local market practice provides standard HVAC hours that exceed 10 hours (and/or Saturday hours), and the lease states the building’s normal operating hours, additional reimbursement is not required for those hours. In this limited circumstance there is no additional cost to the Government for tenant special services. For more information, please see Section 2.6 (page 2-27) of the GSA Pricing Desk Guide.
  3. Does the 10 hours include the time it takes buildings to ramp up to required temperatures? The startup and shutdown times are not included in the normal 10 hours of base operations. The 10 hours is “at temperature”, each building is unique in its ability to recover the tenant space depending on the ambient conditions/summer/winter etc.. Data Centers run 24/7, so there is no startup time.
  4. Does GSA charge for start-up and shutdown times on the HVAC? GSA does not charge for start-up and shutdown times during the week as the system is already running. For weekends or holidays, you will get charged for labor costs if a mechanic is needed to startup, shutdown, and/or monitor the system.
  5. What are the required minimum and maximum temperature set points GSA programs for buildings and do they vary by region/location? According to the Operational Guidance; “for heating and cooling of space that environmental standards shall meet ASHRAE Standard 55-2004 ‘Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy’ and ASHRAE 62.1-2007, ‘Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality’ (Guiding Principles) and be maintained throughout normal working hours in the most efficient sequence and equipment startup shall occur efficiently in order to fully attain environmental conditions at the beginning of normal working hours. The Contractor shall comply with FMR 102-74.185, and strive to achieve temperature settings between 74°F and 78°F in the summer months and between 68°F and 72°F in the winter months. Maintaining these recommended temperatures will be strongly influenced by, but not limited to, the following: geographical locations, building design, and building use. Also, the guidance represents an average temperature for the building envelope and should not be assessed.
  6. What mechanisms exist for utility/GSA services dispute resolution and escalation protocols? There is national guidance on the Above Standard Service - Appeal's Process and it outlines the protocol for agencies to challenge overtime estimates. Tenant Appeals process For 10- Hour day, work with the GSA Property Manager and Regional Account Manager to resolve any disputes on Service Disruptions.
  7. How are costs for IT server rooms assessed and are they different than other OU costs? Server rooms are different from tenant office space primarily by the amount of equipment that is running per square foot versus your typical office space. In typical office space you may have one personal computer per 100 square feet, where in a server room we may have several racks of equipment per 100 square feet. Because of this, we approach the server rooms differently and look at the amount of energy being consumed to cool the space is equal to the amount of energy heating the space.
  8. Who pays for the Humidification system in the building? Humidification in Federal space, such as courtrooms, etc where the agency has special tenant improvements such as special wood millwork and wall covering material is the responsibility of the agency. In section §102-74.185 of FMR,What heating and cooling policy must Federal agencies follow in Federal facilities? Within the limitations of the building systems, Federal agencies must— (a) Operate heating and cooling systems in the most overall energy efficient and economical manner; (b) Maintain temperatures to maximize customer satisfaction by conforming to local commercial equivalent temperature levels and operating practices; (c) Set heating temperatures no higher than 55 degrees Fahrenheit during nonworking hours; (d) Not provide air-conditioning during non-working hours, except as necessary to return space temperatures to a suitable level for the beginning of working hours; (e) Not permit reheating, humidification and simultaneous heating and cooling; and (f) Operate building systems as necessary during extreme weather conditions to protect the physical condition of the building space.
  9. How does GSA calculate the total KW used for both the heating and cooling seasons? This is based on the equipment selected for each season on the maintenance feeder sheet in GSA’s estimating tool. The Cooling and Heating Degree Day Data for each building locality may be sourced through EAUS to help in establishing the seasons.
  10. How does GSA estimate the load on various pieces of equipment? The Property Managers work with O&M Contractor to review the loads on the equipment using the equipment logs or BAS system.
  11. Does GSA include “other costs” within OU billings? Yes, depending on the specific tenant request, the preventative maintenance labor, above standard cleaning, and mechanical labor and material costs are considered. Examples of other cost are: special cleaning needed for a firing range, extra cleaning after an event and starting up the building HVAC equipment.
  12. How are OU’s assessed when multiple agencies within the same building request OU for the same or overlapping periods? The OUE shared equipment cost is split between the estimates taking into account both time and space requirements to satisfy each tenant’s request
  13. How are the prices per unit of fuel established? They are pulled from the actual utility bills that are loaded into the Energy Usage Analysis System (EUAS).
  14. How can an agency obtain documentation supporting the OU charges? (i.e. Where does one obtain a copy of the print-out from GSA’s “Energy Usage Analysis System”)?  Yes, the tenant can request a copy from their Property Manager.
  15. How are costs for IT server rooms assessed and are they different than other OU costs? Server rooms are different from tenant office space primarily by the amount of equipment that is running per square foot versus your typical office space. In typical office space you may have one personal computer per 100 square feet, where in a server room we may have several racks of equipment per 100 square feet. Because of this, we approach the server rooms differently and look at the amount of energy being consumed to cool the space is equal to the amount of energy heating the space.
Last Reviewed 2016-09-04