Clean Buildings

Clean buildings are essential to meeting our state energy goals. In 2019 the Clean Buildings bill was signed into law and later expanded in 2022. The objective is to lower costs and pollution from fossil fuel consumption in the state’s existing covered buildings and multifamily buildings. The law also provides incentives to encourage building owners to make energy efficiency improvements earlier than required. Learn more about the Clean Buildings Performance Standards.

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How to Comply

Building owners and their teams may not know where to start. Visit the How to Comply page to learn more about the steps to get started.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Browse or search our Frequently Asked Questions. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, send a question or comment to our staff by emailing Buildings@Commerce.wa.gov.

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Clean Buildings Library

Get fact sheets, flowcharts, quick reference guides and other information about the Clean Buildings Performance Standard.

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Customer Support and Resources

Find resources from Commerce and other organizations that support compliance, including a directory of qualified persons and qualified energy auditors that may be able to assist you in compliance.

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Clean Buildings Portal

The Clean Buildings Portal is a database of all Tier 1 buildings and provides building owners a secure system to manage their building’s compliance with the Clean Buildings Performance Standard and submit applications to the Early Adopter Incentive Program.

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Early Adopter Incentive Program

The Early Adopter Incentive Program is available to qualified building owners interested in early compliance with the Clean Buildings Performance Standard. Learn more about the qualifications and application process.

Updates and Events

Commerce has concluded rulemaking for SB5722 – Tier 2.

Gov. Jay Inslee signed House Bill 1390 into law on May 4, 2023, amending the Clean Buildings Law to add a new section on facilities connected to district energy systems. The bill recognizes that building decarbonization is necessary to achieve the state’s climate goals and the advantages of upgrading existing district energy systems while considering the timeline to implement upgrades.

The bill instructs owners of a publicly owned district energy system to develop a decarbonization plan for up to 15 years. The plans must contain strategies to decarbonize the central plant and reduce energy use through conservation efforts at the central plant and the connected buildings

Commerce filed the CR101 on December 11, 2023 to begin rulemaking and solicit comments.

About: Commerce is convening a workgroup to analyze the financial investments required for owners of Tier 1 covered buildings to comply with the Clean Buildings Performance Standard and to make recommendations to the legislature to assist building owners in attaining compliance.

SBW Consulting, Inc., 2050 Institute and Unrooz Solutions were awarded a competitive contract to complete the financial analysis and facilitation of the workgroup. The workgroup members have been sent the invitation and will meet once a month over the next 11 months.

The Clean Buildings Workgroup will include members representing K-12 schools, state and local government agencies, utilities, healthcare associations, environmental and consumer advocates, business sectors, and other stakeholders, as named in the Washington State Capital Budget, Section 1017(1).

We’ve received significant interest in the Clean Buildings workgroup. Workgroup participation is limited to the representing sectors from the proviso language (PDF). Commerce is trying to balance receiving broad input while having meaningful engagement. We are committed to transparency and will provide opportunities for public input as recommendations are drafted.

Workgroup Update as of Nov 9, 2023

SBW Consulting facilitated the Nov. 1 kick-off, which reviewed the workgroup purpose, charter, deliverables, timeline, and goals for each representing sector.

Goals of the Clean Buildings workgroup:

  • Represent Tier 1 building owners and other impacted stakeholders
  • Review the analysis of the financial investments required for Tier 1 building owners to comply with the Clean Buildings Performance Standard
  • Make recommendations to the legislature to assist building owners in attaining compliance

Commerce and SBW aim to ensure that perspectives from all workgroup members are meaningfully considered, all deliberations are documented, and the planning process is complete, accurate, fair and transparent. The recommendations this group provides will be finalized in a report to legislative committees by September 1, 2024 on how to support building owners in achieving compliance with the Clean Buildings Performance Standard.

The workgroup will convene again in mid-December to analyze financial investments and discuss preliminary findings. Our overall intent is to have a data-driven understanding of the cost of compliance.

Workgroup Update as of Nov 9, 2023

On November 29, 2023, the Clean Buildings Workgroup reconvened to discuss the preliminary methodology for exploring the financial impacts of compliance with the Clean Buildings Performance Standard for Tier 1 buildings in Washington. The financial methodology analyzes costs and benefits for private and publicly owned buildings. A report has been submitted to the relevant legislative committees and will be posted on the Clean Buildings webpage later.

This report is preliminary. The final report with recommendations is due September 1, 2024. The workgroup proposed areas that will be explored further in the second phase of the analysis, including:

  • cost of fines and setting appropriate fines for building owners,
  • understanding potential non-energy benefits of compliance,
  • addressing deferred maintenance,
  • occupancy challenges, and more.

The workgroup will meet again in January to discuss barriers to compliance, building data, and cost data.

Workgroup Updates as of Feb 7, 2023

The Washington State Clean Buildings Workgroup met on January 31st. They discussed the meeting plans for 2024, the sandbox for recommendation development, and the building selection criteria for the second phase of the financial analysis. The Workgroup’s feedback will be incorporated into an updated plan for the financial analysis methodology, which will be presented at the next meeting.

 

The workgroup will meet again in January to discuss barriers to compliance, building data, and cost data.

Contact

Emily Salzberg
Buildings Unit Managing Director
Email: Buildings@Commerce.wa.gov
Phone: 360-725-3105

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