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Building Energy Performance Standards (BEPS) have arrived in Washington, DC. Is your building ready?

By Emily Sexton

Washington D.C. has created rigorous goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption by 50% by 2032 in addition to reaching carbon neutrality by 2050. The city has estimated that increasing the efficiency of existing buildings could reduce greenhouse gases by nearly 20%. To gain these savings, the Building Energy Performance Standards (BEPS) program was written into the Clean Energy DC Omnibus act of 2018. By design, this cyclical program will help building owners ratchet down their energy usage and become more efficient over time.

Building owners will need to meet efficiency standards that are set by the Department of Energy and Environment. Properties must meet a minimum threshold of energy performance based on building size and type. The threshold can be no lower than the district median score by property type or equivalent metric. The standards are created using benchmarking information from EnergyStar Portfolio Manager and independent data verification is required every 3 years. InSite provides a range of energy and sustainability services that help building owners meet BEPS goals.

The 2021 BEPS have been established and posted in the DC Register effective January 1, 2021. Once standards are set, a building owner can determine if they are compliant or not. BEP standards will be reevaluated and adjusted every 6 years. However, an extension is being provided for BEPS Period 1-cycle 1 for an additional 7th year due to COVID-19. If a building is currently in compliance nothing is required however, it is a good idea to look ahead to the next BEPS cycle and prepare. Noncompliant buildings will enter a 5-year compliance cycle.

BEPS is comprised of 6-year standards cycles with 5-year compliance cycles for each period. Periods are based on building square footage. The Covered Buildings List (CBL) is a helpful document that inventories all buildings which are required to benchmark and when their benchmark deadline is. The CBL indicates the start of new periods based on building square footage.

The first period for BEPS 1 applies to all buildings with more than 50,000 square feet. Due to COVID-19 and abnormal energy usage during 2020, the benchmark data used to make the first cycles standards was from 2019. However, all buildings over 50,000 square feet have been required to benchmark with the district since calendar year 2013.

Period 2 will be for all buildings greater than 25,000 square feet. These buildings, for the first time, will be required to benchmark their 2021 energy usage in Energy Star Portfolio Manager by April 1, 2022. The compliance cycle for Period 2 buildings will follow shortly after reporting is due.

Period 3 will apply to all buildings greater than 10,000 square feet and they will be required to benchmark 2024’s energy data by April 1st, 2025.

There are four compliance path options listed below for those needing to boost their score. For each pathway, InSite can provide assistance to maintain compliance, as well as assist with benchmarking which is essential to BEPS:

For each compliance pathway, InSite offers a range of energy optimization solutions. Our services are tailored to meet your building needs and help achieve BEPS compliance. For example, the Performance Pathway requires a 20% reduction of site energy usage. With InSite, you can get detailed energy consumption audits, analysis, and optimization recommendations that can be paired with energy conservation measure identification and tracking to meet your energy reduction goals. Through leveraging InSite's platform and professional managed services, all of our customers’ commercial office buildings located in Washington, DC are already BEPS compliant. Follow this link to see if your building is in compliance Building Energy Performance Disclosure.

The goal of BEPS is to help decrease the impact of the built environment on greenhouse gases. The guidelines and requirements for building owners to actively participate in this process are in place.

InSite is ready to help your building meet the standard.

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