DC Finalizes Regulations for Benchmarking Energy Use in Large Buildings

The District of Columbia published final regulations to implement a new requirement that all large private buildings benchmark their energy and water performance annually.

The final regulations require owners to evaluate and report the energy and water efficiency of their buildings. Pursuant to the Clean and Affordable Energy Act, owners of buildings over 100,000 square feet must report their 2012 energy and water use to the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) by April 1, 2013.

DDOE requires the use of the Environmental Protection Agency’s free Energy Star Portfolio Manager software for benchmarking and reporting. Larger buildings must also submit data for 2010 and 2011; DDOE is requiring less detail in these reports.

The scope of reporting expands in 2014 to include all buildings over 50,000 square feet. Many building owners in the District are already benchmarking with Portfolio Manager, and 266 buildings, representing 90 million square feet, have been certified with the Energy Star label.

Public sharing of building energy ratings will expand the benefits of benchmarking by making efficiency information available to potential buyers and tenants looking for properties that will save them money and help the environment. DDOE will publish benchmarking results online later in 2013.

The District also released the energy benchmarking results for more than 200 of the District government facilities, managed by the Department of General Services (DGS), with new or updated results for fiscal years 2009 through 2012.

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