Owners of buildings over 20,000 sq. ft. invited to participate in state Clean Buildings expansion rulemaking

Building owners are encouraged to provide input on shaping energy efficiency requirements, financial incentives and assistance under Washington’s expanded Clean Buildings Standard

OLYMPIA, WA – The Washington State Department of Commerce is asking building owners to participate in the rulemaking process for the state’s expanded Clean Buildings Performance Standard, beginning with an introductory webinar at 10:30 a.m. on April 13.

Energy-efficient buildings are essential to meeting our state’s climate goals – buildings are the most rapidly growing source of greenhouse gas emissions in the state, and the second biggest carbon polluter behind transportation. Investments in building energy efficiency measures are the most cost-efficient way to significantly reduce these greenhouse gas emissions. They also provide important benefits in improved air quality and reduced operational costs, saving building owners money over time.

The state’s Clean Buildings Performance Standard is designed to encourage building owners to identify how their buildings are performing and make decisions to improve efficiency. Initially addressing buildings over 50,000 square feet, the 2022 Clean Buildings expansion law added a new second tier of buildings between 20,000 and 50,000 square feet that includes multifamily buildings. Reporting for this new tier is expected to begin July 1, 2027.

The first phase of this expansion law is not a performance standard. It will only require reporting on benchmarking, energy management plans and operations and maintenance programs for Tier 2 buildings.

The expansion also includes an incentive program with $150 million available for owners of Tier 2 buildings.

How to participate in the rulemaking

Commerce is hosting a Zoom webinar: “Introduction to the Clean Buildings Expansion” from 10:30 a.m. to noon Pacific Time, Thursday, April 13.

This is the first in a series of workshops to establish rules, reporting requirements and the financial incentive program for Tier 2 buildings. This kick-off meeting in the public engagement process will introduce the Clean Buildings expansion law and rulemaking basics.

To learn more and find the Zoom Meeting Link, visit the Clean Buildings Program page on Commerce’s website.

“We seek a wide range of input from the public and stakeholders as we work to design the program and reporting requirements for the Clean Buildings expansion,” said Commerce Assistant Director for Energy Michael Furze. “This planned series of workshops is an opportunity for communities, building owners and the industry to help shape how buildings operate, the cost to maintain them, and the role they play in reaching Washington state’s energy efficiency and emission reduction goals.”

The intent of Commerce’s Clean Buildings Program is to provide incentives, technical support and encourage greater energy efficiency in all aspects of new and existing buildings.

Commerce must complete rulemaking on the expansion by December 1, 2023.

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