In two years, the implementation of The Building Energy Performance Standards (BEPS) will begin all around the District of Columbia. Set forth by the Department of Energy and Environment, these building standards provide benchmarks and requirements for the energy efficiency and emissions of all buildings in the city. The end goal of this program is to decrease carbon emissions from buildings by 50% in 2032, and then ultimately a 100% reduction by 2050.
What is Energy Benchmarking?
Energy Benchmarking is tracking the energy and water usage of a given building and comparing these performance statistics to the building’s previous usage and that of others around the country. Benchmarking motivates enhanced performance by helping buildings to assess their current usage and set goals for improving efficiency and achieving certain energy standards.
Energy Benchmarking in DC:
DC’s Energy Benchmarking program has been successfully encouraging buildings to improve upon their efficiency, and serve as an important mechanism for the implementation of the District’s recent Building Energy Performance Standards. According to the Clean Energy DC Omnibus Amendment Act of 2018, (https://code.dccouncil.us/dc/council/laws/22-257.html) “starting in 2021, owners of buildings over 50,000 square feet that are below a specific energy performance threshold will be required to improve their energy efficiency over the next 5 years”. After 2021, the square foot benchmark requirement will decrease every year moving forward, ensuring that eventually all buildings in DC meet the prescribed efficiency standards. To promote compliance and transparency, the DOEE requires building owners to have a third party verify their performance every three years.
What does this mean for solar?
Solar is now! This is great news for the solar energy industry. The installation of solar systems is a key component in increasing energy efficiency in buildings, enabling the structure to benefit from the sustainability and cost effectiveness of a renewable energy investment. Urban solar development will be an integral part of helping buildings achieve the BEPS, and we are excited to see this program move forward!
Do you have a building project in DC that will require green improvements or a solar loan? Get our help now by calling us at 866-484-7786.
Image credit: DOEE