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Variances from the 2021 Building Energy Performance Standards

The 2021 Building Energy Performance Standards effective January 1, 2021, have been established with the final rulemaking posted in the DC Register on April 30, 2021. All BEPS Program rulemaking and public comments received on proposed rules are available. Building owners that wish to compare their building’s evaluation against the BEPS may do so by finding the building on the Building Energy Performance disclosure. Those interested in how DOEE determined the BEPS should view the Guide to the 2021 BEPS.

Variances are designed to account for buildings encountering rare circumstances where normal activity was not occurring in the building, or the property type of the building is not adequately captured by the established standards. Building owners wishing to request a variance described in the BEPS Establishment Rules (20 DCMR 3530.6 and 3530.7) may do so by submitting the Variance Request Form at the link below. The following variances allowed under the BEPS Establishment Rulemaking:

Use of Calendar Year 2018 for the property’s BEPS metric year (20 DCMR 3530.6): If a building experienced atypical business activity such that the 2019 District Benchmark Results and Compliance Report does not represent normal operations of the building, may request the use of their Calendar Year 2018 District Benchmark Results and Compliance Report. To receive this variance the building must have a complete and accurate 2018 District Benchmark Results and Compliance Report submitted. If granted DOEE will evaluate the building against the BEPS using the applicable BEPS Metric (ENERGY STAR Score, Normalized Source EUI, or Source EUI) in a complete and accurate 2018 District Benchmark Results and Compliance Report.

Use of a blended standard (20 DCMR 3530.7(a)): If no single property use type makes up more than fifty-percent (50%) of the overall gross floor area the building will be designated as “Mixed-Use” in Portfolio Manager. To receive this variance the building must have a complete and accurate 2019 District Benchmark Results and Compliance Report submitted. If granted DOEE will evaluate the building against a blended BEPS that accounts for the percentage of each property type within the building.

Use of a different peer group (20 DCMR 3530.7(b)): If a building belongs to a property where there are fewer than ten (10) buildings used to determine the BEPS (see table 3 in appendix B of the Guide to the 2021 BEPS) and there is a industry-recognized peer group data set with an equivalent metric for the buildings property. To receive this variance, the building must demonstrate that the alternative peer group data is industry recognized and equivalent to the applicable BEPS metric (ENERGY STAR Score, Normalized Source EUI, Source EUI) for the building in question. If granted, DOEE will evaluate the building against the alternative peer group data metric.

All 2021 Variance Request Forms must be submitted by January 1, 2022 (please note that DOEE is accepting applications for blended standard and different peer group past the August 1, 2021 deadline). If a building owner submits a 2021 Variance Request Form, DOEE will send a notice of approval, request for more information, or rejection. If DOEE requests more information to determine if the request should be approved, the building owner must provide a response within the time specified by DOEE or DOEE will deny the request. DOEE approval of a variance does not change the BEPS Period or compliance deadlines.

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