DC Benchmarking Law
Videos from the public comment session on July 31, 2012For a written synopsis of the comment session, click here.
Stories about monitoring and managing building energy can be found on our condominium channel.
Introduction and Overview of new requirements for large, private buildings in DC to report energy and water use
Timelines associated with the Benchmarking requirements
What has changed and what has not changed from previous drafts of the regulations
Other Issues, such as ground-level retail space and exemptions
Publication of Benchmarked Data
Resources, Events and Contacts
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DC Benchmarking Law ApproachingNew D.C. regulations requiring large private buildings to report their energy and water use are expected to come into effect in mid-September. Building owners would be required to report their consumption of utilities by mid-November or face fines of $100 per day.
Buildings over 200,000 square feet must report their utility use for 2010 and buildings over 150,000 square feet must report for 2011, according to DC laws that have been on the books for over a year but which have been delayed as officials worked out the regulations. Next year buildings over 100,000 square feet will have to report by April 1, and starting in 2014 buildings over 50,000 square feet must report.
Those proposed regulations, along with guidance documents, are available at http://www.ddoe.dc.gov/energybenchmarking. The following information was presented at a public comment period on July 31, 2012.
At present, the DC government is holding a comment period based on regulations posted in the DC register. At the end of the comment period on Sept. 15 the government will be authorized to implement the benchmarking law, starting a 60-day clock for compliance.
Buildings will be required to open an online account with the EPA Energy Star program and join its “Portfolio Manager” system to report energy and water use.
Portfolio Manager provides a form for building owners to enter each month’s consumption of electricity, natural gas and water for the relevant years. It also asks for building size and other information about the use of space.
Portfolio Manager then compares the energy use of the building to the weather of the months being reported. Making adjustments for hot or cold temperatures outside, Portfolio Manager calculates an “Energy Usage Intensity” score for the buildings. This intensity score is analogous to the Energy Start ratings of an appliance or the mileage rating of a car, expect that it is designed for buildings.
If building owners do not report by the deadline, expected to be about November 15, assuming the regulations are approved as expected, they will be given a 30-day warning period. After that DC may assess a fine of $100 a day for non-compliance.
Buildings that do not have a master meter may need to collect data from individual tenants. Pepco and other utilities may provide, upon request, aggregate building data, but the legalities of their providing data about individual tenants is still under review.
If a tenant does not provide data the building owner may say so and identify the tenant in a note in DC’s Portfolio Manager template. DC will then contact the tenant saying there is a requirement to report energy use. Further, DC is making available an optional form on its own letterhead that owners may download from the Web and present to tenants requesting the information.
There will be a special educational session for condominiums and cooperatives about the benchmarking on Sept. 29 at the Harbour Square Cooperative, in Southwest DC.
The proposed regulation and guidance documents can be found at http://ddoe.dc.gov/publication/second-proposed-rulemaking-private-building-benchmarking.