What is the DC BEPS Program?
According to Boland Energy Engineer, Jessica Cremen, CEM, DC BEPS (Building Energy Performance Standards) is a six-year phased program, requiring buildings to continually reduce energy use over several phases. "We are currently in Phase 1, which means that every privately owned building over 50,000 square feet and every D.C. government-owned building over 10,000 square feet must be benchmarking its data through the Energy Star Portfolio Manager, an interactive resource management tool on Energy Star's website" said Cremen.
DC BEPS builds upon benchmarking requirements originally implemented in 2015 by the Department of Energy and Environment. At this time, the BEPS Program is only being implemented in the District of Columbia, but other local legislatures are considering the viability for similar programs.
Okay, so what is the new standard?
Standards for this program are based on building type and square footage. If a building's Energy Star score is at or above the standard, the building is in compliance. However, if a building is below the Energy Star score standard, it will need to follow one of four compliance pathways outlined below before the end of the performance period or be subject to fines. Owners will need to inform the Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) of which pathway they will take by April 1, 2023.
Standard Pathway: the building must meet the standard (ENERGY STAR score or source EUI) for their property type
Performance Pathway: the building must achieve a 20% reduction in site EUI
Prescriptive Pathway: the building must meet reporting milestones and implement one or more recommended ECMs designed to achieve energy savings (does not rely on a performance evaluation at the end of the cycle)
Alternative Compliance Path (ACP): the building works with DOEE to create a plan to achieve energy savings comparable to the requirements in the performance pathway