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District Establishes New Energy Performance Standards for Buildings

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Brent Peterson, [email protected], 202-617-1097

WASHINGTON, DC – January 1, 2021 – The Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE) has established its first set of Building Energy Performance Standards (BEPS) to improve energy efficiency in existing buildings. The standards are designed to meet Mayor Bowser’s Sustainable DC goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption by 50 percent by 2032.

“BEPS is one of the largest action items coming out of the CleanEnergy DC Plan,” said DOEE Director Tommy Wells. “One of the most ambitious city climate action plans in the nation. Improving energy performance in our existing buildings has the potential to reduce carbon emissions by 10 percent District wide and is a driving force in the District meeting its carbon reduction goals.”

The BEPS program applies to: (1) privately-owned buildings with at least 50,000 square feet of gross floor area; and (2) all District-owned or District instrumentality-owned buildings with at least 10,000 square feet of gross floor area.

Starting in 2021, buildings that do not meet the standards will be required to improve their energy efficiency. The District posted a proposed BEPS rulemaking in the DC Register on December 4, 2020.

The BEPS Program was established under Title III of the Clean Energy DC Omnibus Amendment Act of 2018 (CEDC Act), which required DOEE to establish Standards setting a minimum threshold of energy performance for various property types. That threshold will be no lower than the local District median ENERGY STAR Score* by property type (or equivalent metric).

The BEPS webpage includes a link to the Standards, proposed rulemaking, the “BEPS Task Force Recommendations for Rulemaking” Report, and more details on how DOEE determined the BEPS.

* The ENERGY STAR Score is a 1-100 scale that compares one property’s performance to other properties like it across the country.  The District median ENERGY STAR scores were calculated based on the calendar year 2019 benchmarking data, which can be found here.