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As the urgency to address climate change grows, cities across the globe are taking significant steps to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. One such city at the forefront of this movement is Washington DC and Montgomery County, Maryland, with their ambitious Building Energy Performance Standards (BEPS) policies. Within this policy, a measure has been implemented to ensure accurate energy benchmarking of buildings. In addition to benchmarking reporting, this policy requires both the verification of a building’s Gross Floor Area (Area Verification), and the verification energy/water usage data by a trusted third party (Benchmarking Verification). At Honeydew Energy Advisors, we understand the importance of these verifications and offer comprehensive assistance to building owners in navigating this process.

The Significance of Area Verification

Accurate GFA measurement forms the foundation for assessing a building’s energy performance. It provides the baseline data necessary for comparisons and benchmarking. By verifying the GFA, building owners can establish a more precise depiction of their property’s energy consumption and identify potential areas for improvement. If their verified GFA is higher than what is currently in their benchmarking report, then the Energy Star score will increase when corrected. If their verified GFA is lower than what is currently in their benchmarking report, then the Energy Star score will decrease. 

We’ve seen a pattern with Condominiums and Cooperatives where the square footage provided by DOEE and DEP in the Covered Building List is inaccurate, and 90% of the time lower than the actual square footage of the property – increasing the Energy Star scores of the building as soon as the updated GFA is uploaded into the benchmarking report.

At Honeydew Energy Advisors, we highly recommend buildings currently subject to BEPS initiate the verification process over the summer of 2023 by focusing on the GFA. Once this step is completed, it sets the stage for a more reliable energy benchmarking process in Energy Star Portfolio Manager and better understanding of their true baseline score (2019 Energy Star Score) to determine if (a) they’re still subject to BEPS or (b) if they should now choose a different BEPS Pathway to compliance.

Benchmarking Verification for Enhanced Accuracy

While Area Verification lays the groundwork, Benchmarking Verification adds another layer of credibility to a building’s energy/water performance and building characteristics data. In 2024, every building is required to have a third-party engineering firm verify their benchmarking reports before April 1st, which also includes an Area Verification to confirm the accurate GFA. By involving a third party in this process, program administrators ensure impartiality and minimize the chance of data manipulation or inaccuracies.

Honeydew Energy Advisors, as a trusted expert in energy management, offers professional benchmarking services directly. Our team meticulously reviews the benchmarking data and ensures compliance with the BEPS policy and highlighting any potential errors or discrepancies. We do not directly provide Benchmarking or Area Verifications, which must be done by a licensed engineer. However, Honeydew can refer you to third-parties to provide the Area and/or Benchmarking Verification service(s).

Streamlining Compliance with BEPS

Compliance with Washington DC’s BEPS policy requires accurate data reporting and adherence to the prescribed pathways. Honeydew Energy Advisors is well-equipped to facilitate building owners throughout the entire compliance process. We not only offer benchmarking services, but also provide support in filing the necessary paperwork for changing the GFA, selecting a BEPS compliance pathway, and facilitating ASHRAE Level 2 Energy Audits. We also provide customized BEPS Consulting services and offer RFP developments once our clients are ready to move from the energy audit findings to the implementation stage.

Our Role in Building Owners’ Compliance Journey

At Honeydew Energy Advisors, we understand that navigating the complex landscape of energy performance standards can be overwhelming for building owners. That’s why we offer a comprehensive suite of services to simplify the compliance journey. Our experienced professionals work closely with building owners, providing expert guidance, and ensuring adherence to the BEPS policy.

Our Approach

  1. Area Verification: We recommend starting with Area Verification to establish an accurate depiction of your building’s energy profile.
  2. Benchmarking Verification: Our partners meticulously review your benchmarking data (building characteristics and energy/water usage), verifying its accuracy and compliance with both the Benchmarking and BEPS requirements.
  3. Paperwork Assistance: We assist in filing the necessary paperwork to update the GFA and select an appropriate BEPS compliance pathway.
  4. Compliance Support: Throughout the process, we provide ongoing support, ensuring that all requirements are met, developing a plan to compliance and providing recommendations so that full compliance is achieved.


From a 10,000 foot view, Washington DC’s Building Energy Performance Standards or BEPS policy represents a significant milestone in the city’s commitment to sustainability and reducing carbon emissions. However, we at Honeydew Energy Advisors also see this from a property owner or manager’s perspective from the ground level. Complying with benchmarking and BEPS can appear a daunting task, but Honeydew is here to show you the clearest path through the process in an easy to understand step by step approach.