§ 8–1772.21. Establishment of a Building Energy Performance Standard Program.
*NOTE: This section includes amendments by temporary legislation that will expire on October 26, 2021. To view the text of this section after the expiration of all emergency and temporary legislation, click this link: Permanent Version.*
(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, 2027, all privately-owned buildings with at least 25,000 square feet of gross floor area; and
(3) Beginning January 1, 2033, 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 6 years thereafter, DOEE shall, by rulemaking or publication on the DOEE website, 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 below the energy performance standard for their property type, established pursuant to subsection (b)(1) and (2) of this section, shall have 5 years from the date the performance standards are established 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.