Code of the District of Columbia

§ 8–1772.21. Establishment of a Building Energy Performance Standard Program.

(a) This section shall apply to:

(1) Beginning January 1, 2021, all privately-owned buildings with at least 50,000 square feet of gross floor area and all District-owned or District instrumentality-owned buildings with at least 10,000 square feet of gross floor area;

(2) Beginning January 1, 2023, all privately-owned buildings with at least 25,000 square feet of gross floor area; and

(3) Beginning January 1, 2026, all privately-owned buildings with at least 10,000 square feet of gross floor area.

(b)(1)(A) No later than January 1, 2021, and every 5 years thereafter, DOEE shall establish property types and building energy performance standards for each property type, or an equivalent metric for buildings that do not receive an ENERGY STAR score.

(B) DOEE shall establish reporting and data verification requirements for each 5-year compliance cycle.

(C)(i) In developing energy performance standards, DOEE shall seek to help the District achieve its short- and long-term climate commitments, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2032 and carbon neutrality by 2050.

(ii) For buildings that are eligible for an ENERGY STAR score, the building energy performance standard shall be no lower than the District median ENERGY STAR score for buildings of each property type.

(2) DOEE shall establish campus-wide energy performance standards for post-secondary educational institutions and hospitals with multiple buildings in a single location that are owned by a single entity; provided, that the development of any standard by DOEE shall be based upon an analysis of the existing building efficiency of each campus and the compliance pathways shall achieve savings comparable to those outlined in subsection (d)(1) of this section. In establishing specific performance standards, DOEE shall consider:

(A) The existence of any historic buildings and any restrictions related to the treatment of historic buildings or districts;

(B) The diversity of building uses and requirements for the campus and its operations; and

(C) The impact on any zoning regulation or campus plan requirement.

(c) All buildings with a verified ENERGY STAR score below the building energy performance standard for its property type shall have 5 years from the date of the performance standards established pursuant to paragraph (b)(1)(A) to meet the building energy performance requirements established by DOEE.

(d) DOEE shall establish multiple compliance pathways for buildings to meet the building energy performance requirements, including:

(1) A performance pathway, which shall require a building to demonstrate a greater than 20% decrease in normalized site energy use intensity averaged over the last 2 years of the 5-year compliance cycle, as compared to the normalized site energy use intensity averaged over the 2 years preceding the first year of the 5-year compliance cycle; and;

(2) A prescriptive pathway for buildings to achieve compliance by implementing cost-effective energy efficiency measures with savings comparable to the performance pathway; and

(3) Other compliance pathways established by DOEE.

(e)(1) DOEE shall establish exemption criteria for qualifying buildings to delay compliance with the building energy performance requirements for up to 3 years if the owner demonstrates, to the satisfaction of DOEE, financial distress, change of ownership, vacancy, major renovation, pending demolition, or other acceptable circumstances determined by DOEE by regulation.

(2) DOEE may establish an exemption criterion for qualifying affordable housing buildings to delay compliance with the building energy performance requirements for more than 3 years; provided, that the owner demonstrates, to the satisfaction of DOEE, financial distress, change of ownership, vacancy, major renovation, pending demolition, or other acceptable circumstances as determined by DOEE by regulation.

(f) DOEE shall coordinate with the Sustainable Energy Utility, selected pursuant to Chapter 17N of this title, and the Green Finance Authority, established by § 8-173.21, to establish an incentive and financial assistance program for qualifying building owners and affordable housing providers to meet building energy performance requirements.

(g) Buildings failing to comply with the building energy performance requirements at the end of the 5-year compliance period shall pay an alternative compliance penalty established by DOEE. Penalties collected pursuant to this provision shall be deposited into the Sustainable Energy Trust Fund.

(h) By January 1, 2023, DOEE shall publish a report assessing whether the building energy performance standard should be revised to a standard based on reducing contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, and if so, recommend a method and timeline for doing so, including any statutory changes needed.

(i) DOEE may impose civil infraction penalties, fines, and fees as sanctions for a violation of this section or a regulation issued pursuant to this section, pursuant to Chapter 18 of Title 2.

(j) The Attorney General for the District of Columbia may commence a civil action in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia or any other court of competent jurisdiction for damages, cost recovery, reasonable attorney and expert witness fees, and injunctive or other appropriate relief to enforce compliance with this section or a regulation issued pursuant to this section.

(k) For the purposes of this section, the term "affordable housing" means buildings that are primarily residential, contain 5 or more dwelling units, and:

(1) In which use restrictions or other covenants require that at least 50% of all of the building's dwelling units are occupied by households that have household incomes of less than or equal to 80% of the area median income; or

(2) The building owner can demonstrate that at least 50% of the dwelling units rent at levels that are affordable to households with incomes less than or equal to 80% of the area median income.


(Mar. 22, 2019, D.C. Law 22-257, § 301, 66 DCR 1344.)

Applicability

Section 7164 of D.C. Law 23-16 repealed § 601 of D.C. Law 22-257. Therefore the creation of this section by D.C. Law 22-257 has been implemented.

Applicability of D.C. Law 22-257: § 601 of D.C. Law 22-257 provided that the creation of this section by § 301 of D.C. Law 22-257 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of CleanEnergy DC Omnibus Emergency Amendment Act of 2020 (D.C. Act 23-230, Feb. 27, 2020, 67 DCR 2508).

For temporary (90 days) repeal of applicability provision of D.C. Law 22-255, see § 7164 of Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2019 (D.C. Act 23-112, Sept. 4, 2019, 66 DCR 11964).

For temporary (90 days) repeal of applicability provision of D.C. Law 22-255, see § 7164 of Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2019 (D.C. Act 23-91, July 22, 2019, 66 DCR 8497).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of CleanEnergy DC Omnibus Temporary Amendment Act of 2020 (D.C. Law 23-94, May 6, 2020, 67 DCR 3527).