Tier 2 compliance

The Clean Buildings Performance Standard is mandatory for Tier 2 covered buildings located in the state of Washington. On March 25, 2022, Governor Inslee signed the Clean Buildings expansion bill (PDF) into law to include Tier 2 covered buildings. A Tier 2 building is a building where the sum of multifamily residential, nonresidential, hotel, motel and dormitory floor areas exceeds 20,000 gross square feet, but does not exceed 50,000 gross square feet, excluding the parking garage area. Tier 2 covered buildings also include multifamily residential buildings where floor areas are equal to or exceed 50,000 gross square feet, excluding the parking garage area.

  • Federal buildings and buildings owned by federally recognized tribes are not required to comply with the standard.
  • For Tier 1 covered buildings content, see the Tier 1 compliance webpage.

Tier 2 covered building requirements

  • Benchmarking by measuring and tracking energy use in a building over time.
  • Implementing an operations and maintenance program.
  • Creating an energy management plan.

Compliance and reporting for Tier 2 must be submitted by July 1, 2027.

Tier 2 — Ready to get started?

If a Tier 2 covered building meets one of the exemption criteria in RCW 19.27A.210(7)(c) or Section Y4.1 of the standard, building owners can apply for an exemption on July 1, 2025, two years prior to the scheduled compliance date and submitted to Commerce no later than 180 days prior to the compliance date.

Exemption certificates for approved buildings are only valid for the current compliance review cycle. Within six months before the compliance date, building owners who have received exemption approval must certify that the building still meets the eligibility qualifications for the exemption and that there have been no material changes to qualifying conditions. Commerce will provide a one-page declaration for exempted building owners to sign.

A list of acceptable documents can be found in Clean Buildings Performance Standard, Annex Y6.7.

This is a process-oriented standard with long lead times to help keep compliance costs down. It is most cost-effective to start the compliance process early. 

Tier 2 building identification will not occur until July 2025. So, the Clean Building Portal will not be available to Tier 2 building owners until July 2025.

  • Benchmarking is required for Tier 2 buildings.
  • Create an account with the Energy Star Portfolio Manager (ESPM).
  • Contact your utility provider(s) to integrate your building into ESPM. Understand your utility providers’ role in compliance.
    • Utilities are required to provide energy consumption data to building owners upon request. Large utilities (greater than 25,000 customers) are required to provide this data using ESPM’s automated upload protocol. Smaller utilities are to provide the data to building owners in an Excel document, meeting Energy Star Portfolio Manager specifications (see RCW 19.27a.170).
  • Establish the weather normalized energy use intensity (WNEUI) for each building in ESPM.
  • Create the energy use intensity target (EUIt) for the building in accordance with Annex Y, Section Y6.2.
  • Compare WNEUI to the calculated target (EUIt). However, Tier 2 covered buildings are not required to meet the target at this time.
  • For assistance on how to determine your building’s EUIt refer to guide sheet How to Determine Energy Use Intensity Target (EUIt) and within the standard Table 7-2a Building Activity Site Energy Targets and Table 7-4 Building Activity Type Definitions Table.

Develop and implement the Energy Management Plan (EMP) and associated Operations and Maintenance Program (O&M) for each building as outlined in Sections 5 and 6 of the Clean Building Performance Standard. This step can happen concurrently with benchmarking.

The EMP and O&M program are mandatory requirements for all covered buildings. Implementation of these requirements can begin at any time. There are no required templates. A current EMP and O&M program, which are in compliance with the Clean Building Performance Standard, may be used. Check back for potential example templates.

Tip: Designate your qualified energy manager. A qualified energy manager requires specific expertise and certification. Select this link for defined roles and responsibilities (PDF).

The building owner of a Tier 2 covered building must report compliance with the standard to Commerce by July 1, 2027 and every five years thereafter.

Need more time to comply?

Conditional compliance is a temporary compliance method that can be applied to the EMP and O&M requirements of the standard. Benchmarking is required and shall be reported in the Tier 2 covered building conditional compliance application. See Annex Y4 for more details. Application for Tier 2 conditional compliance must be submitted prior to the scheduled compliance date. 

Commerce is authorized to impose administrative penalties upon building owners who fail to submit documentation demonstrating compliance. Failure to submit appropriate documentation by the scheduled reporting date will result in progressive penalties by legal notice.

  • See Annex Y5 to learn more about violations, assessment of administrative penalties, mitigation and review of penalty decisions.
  • Assessment of penalties for non-compliance cannot exceed $0.30 per square foot.

CBPS links

Need help?

Submit questions and request support online using the  CBPS Customer Support Form (on Smartsheet).


To sign up for updates or access your subscriber preferences, please enter your contact information below.