From the Natural Resources Defense Council blog:
It should be no surprise that, as the capital of our nation and the seat of the country’s representatives in Congress, Washington, D.C., has taken the lead in convening a Building Energy Performance Standards (BEPS) Task Force that engages multiple, wide-ranging stakeholders in the environmental stewardship of their district.
While each city in the Bloomberg Philanthropies American Cities Climate Challenge has set forth its own plan for addressing climate change, Washington, D.C. is the first city in the country to establish a building energy performance standard for existing buildings. The last year was dedicated to actively involving those in the utility, affordable housing, residential and commercial building industries. In addition, feedback was collected from universities, green banks, governmental agencies, and many others, to collaborate on ways to support and implement the district’s new BEPS program, set to launch in 2021.
The BEPS program, created by the D.C. Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) in response to the CleanEnergy DC Omnibus Amendment Act, is a key component in Mayor Muriel Bowser’s vision for a Sustainable DC: “In just one generation—20 years—the District of Columbia aims to be the healthiest, greenest, most livable city in the United States.” Key goals include a 50 percent reduction in greenhouse gases by 2032; a 50 percent reduction in district-wide energy use by 2032; and 100 percent carbon neutrality by 2050.
The BEPS Task Force has pioneered a robust and extensive stakeholder collaboration process to achieve these goals. Since buildings are the source of 75 percent of the district’s greenhouse gas emissions and are responsible for much of the district’s energy use, engaging the commercial real estate development and affordable housing industries, as well as hospitals and universities, is key.