Everything You Wanted To Know About Washington DC’s BEPS

What is BEPS?

BEPS stands for Washington DC’s Building Energy Performance Standards. The program is a significant component towards achieving the aggressive sustainability goals set forth by the District. These sustainability goals include the following:

  • 50% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2032 (Compared to 2006)
  • Carbon neutrality by 2050
  • 50% reduction in District-wide energy use by 2032 (Relative to 2012)
  • 100% renewable electricity in DC by 2032

To reach these goals, buildings within the District will be required to meet BEPS. Building Energy Performance Standards are based upon the median ENERGY STAR score of buildings that have reported benchmarking data to the District. For projects that are not eligible for an ENERGY STAR score, the standard is based on source energy use intensity (EUI). Building owners will need to provide documentation that their buildings comply with the requirements of BEPS.

Current Standards – Cycle 1

Building Type Energy Star Score – Standard
Office 71
Hotels 54
Multifamily 66
K-12 Schools 36
Hospitals 50

How Will BEPS Affect Existing Building Owners?

Compliance will be awarded to buildings with an ENERGY STAR score at or above the standard listed. Projects with ENERGY STAR scores below the standard will need to follow one of four pathways to bring the building into conformance or be subject to fines. The four pathways to compliance include:

  • Standard Pathway: Meet the standard (ENERGY STAR score or source EUI) outlined above
  • Performance Pathway: Achieve a 20% reduction in site EUI
  • Prescriptive Pathway: Follow specified efficiency measures outlined in the (BEPS) Compliance and Enforcement Guidebook for the current cycle
  • Alternative Compliance Path: Work with the Department of Energy and Environment for custom pathway

As standards are updated, buildings may need to make improvements to stay in compliance with future cycles.

How Will BEPS Affect New Buildings & Developers?

New buildings will be subject to benchmarking and BEPS after the first full calendar year of occupancy. Building to current code compliance may not be enough to meet the standard. Project designers must take this into consideration and design to not only meet, but likely exceed the standard. Energy modeling should be conducted early in project design to ensure the project is on track to meet efficiency targets.

Beginning in 2024 (for the calendar year 2023), third-party verification of benchmarking data will be required every three years. Third-party verification must be completed by a Professional Engineer (PE); Licensed Architect; Certified Energy Manager (CEM); Building Energy Assessment Professional; or any other licensee recognized by the Department of Energy and Environment.

When is This Happening?

The following schedule outlines compliance requirements.

  • District-owned buildings >10,000 SF: Began January 1, 2021
  • Privately-owned buildings >50,000 SF: Began January 1, 2021
  • Privately-owned buildings 25,000-50,000 SF: Began benchmarking January 1, 2022
  • Privately-owned buildings 25,000-50,000 SF: Began January 1, 2023
  • Privately-owned buildings 10,000-25,000 SF: Begin benchmarking January 1, 2025
  • Privately-owned buildings 10,000-25,000 SF: Beginning January 1, 2026
  • Second BEPS compliance cycle for buildings >25,000 SF: Beginning January 1, 2027
  • Third BEPS compliance cycle for buildings >10,000 SF: Beginning January 1, 2033


The penalty for non-compliance at the end of the BEPS cycle is $10 per square foot up to a maximum of $7,500,000. Penalties will be proportionally adjusted based upon the proximity that a project gets to its intended target.

How Can Allen + Shariff Help?

Allen + Shariff Commissioning and Sustainability Sector can support and help meet DC BEPS requirements by:

  1. Performing data verification of all utility bills on Energy Star Portfolio Manager, and submitting data verification report
  2. Performing ASHARE Level II Energy Audits and developing Performance Improvement Roadmaps to meet BEPS compliance.
  3. Providing turn-key design-build services for any required energy retrofit/upgrade projects to meet BEPS compliance. Turn-key, includes MEP design, and construction project management services.
  4. Energy Star certification applications for qualifying buildings

Contact our team today for an energy audit to find out where you stand.