HAND is pleased to continue to keep you in the know on all things BEPS. Since 2019, HAND & NHT has brought together our members and partners to discuss the potential impacts of DC’s Building Energy Performance Standards (BEPS) on affordable housing and develop implementation recommendations for the Department of Energy and the Environment (DOEE). As defined by the DOEE, BEPS is “a minimum threshold of energy performance for existing buildings that will be no lower than the local median ENERGY STAR score by property type (or equivalent metric).” These standards were created to help meet the energy and climate goals of the Sustainable DC plan. Recently, the DOEE has made updates to the Second Proposed BEPS Compliance Regulations (starting at page 95) and BEPS Compliance Guidebook. The Second Proposed BEPS Compliance Regulations includes; a summary of public comments received on the first proposed BEPS Compliance Regulations and DOEE’s responses, standards for privately-owned buildings’, which buildings are subject to the BEPS rules, and regulations requirements for buildings that are not in compliance. The BEPS Compliance Guidebook provides additional information on the specific requirements of each compliance pathway, compliance methods and protocol requirements, and criteria for granting flexibility to affordable housing. We encourage you to review these documents to learn more about the changes, information about the requirements, compliance methods, and enforcement of the BEPS Program. If you would like to weigh in on these documents, both publications are open for public comment until August 23.
Significant updates to the BEPS Compliance Regulations to note: The non-compliance penalties capping amount has been updated to cap at $10/square foot (previously it was up to $20/square foot). The other significant change is that affordable housing is re-defined “as a building with at least 50% of units affordable to tenants making 50% of AMI or less” (previously it was defined as “a building with at least 50% of units affordable to tenants making 80% of AMI or less.”)