The District of Columbia’s benchmarking program has continued to expand the scope of its mandatory reporting requirements. In 2022, it will lower the threshold from 50,000 square feet Gross Floor Area (GFA) to 25,000 square feet. Every privately owned property in DC above 25,000 sqft needs to be set up to benchmark by April 1st or face significant, avoidable fines.
What is Benchmarking?
Benchmarking is the reporting of monthly electric, natural gas, and water data through the Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager (ESPM) Platform. The purpose is to increase the transparency of buildings’ energy consumption, allowing both managers and regulators to take measurable actions to improve a building’s efficiency. In DC, this is directly applied to the Building Energy Performance Standards (BEPS) as the data determines which buildings are subject to mandates and potential civil fees.
What are the penalties for non-compliance?
The deadline for when properties must have all data reported is April 1st, 2022. Penalties for being late are $100/day of non compliance.
How to benchmark your property?
The first step to entering data is to create or request ownership of the property account in Energy Star Portfolio Manager (ESPM). ESPM will request basic information about your property including: space type/GFA, unit count, egresses, and building user data. It will next require the input of detailed utility data to monitor energy usage on an ongoing monthly basis.
How to find out how efficient your building is?
ESPM computes an Energy Usage Intensity (EUI) metric for each property. The EUI is essentially the total energy used by the building divided by its GFA. The lower the EUI, the more efficient the building. ESPM will then compare the property’s EUI to similar properties and determine an Energy Star Score on a scale of 1 to 100. For example, a score of 75 would indicate that only 25% of similar buildings are more energy efficient than this property.
If you own or manage a property that is over 25,000 square feet and would like assistance in setting up and managing the property’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager account, please contact Andrew at [email protected] or call 202.670.9625