Evolution Energy Partners is Supporting Philly’s Energy Conservation and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Program

The City’s Building Energy Performance Policy is now officially in effect. Compliance deadlines vary depending on building size. 

The Philadelphia Office of Sustainability has released several resources to help building owners comply with the new regulation. You can find the resources below:

The EEP team is well versed in the new policy and is ready to assist your organization in defining a strategy that will comply with the Philadelphia Building Tune-up Program. Be sure to take advantage of our no-cost, no-obligation energy audits, and creative financing options to preserve critical capital.

History of the Program

In 2012, Philadelphia joined in with sustainability-focused municipalities across the country and created The Energy Benchmarking and Disclosure Law (Philadelphia Code, Section 9-3402). Since 2012, 27 cities, one county, and three states have established energy benchmarking and transparency requirements covering public, commercial, industrial, and multifamily buildings.

As part of the program, Philadelphia mandated the use of the EPA’s Energy Star and Portfolio Manager to assist with calculating building energy use. As of last year, 320 million square feet of building space conducts mandatory Energy Benchmarking, representing 20 percent of the city’s total square feet of building space.

Where Are We Now?

Philadelphia’s Municipal Energy Master Plan has a goal of cutting the city’s carbon footprint from municipal buildings by 50 percent and procuring 100 percent clean energy by 2030. Mayor Jim Kenney’s goal is to cut carbon pollution citywide by 80 percent by 2050 and move toward using 100 percent clean energy.

The next step in the city’s ambitious energy conservation program, announced in November 2019 (Bill #190600), is the Building Energy Performance Program. The Building Energy Performance Program mandates that all non-residential buildings, 50,000 square feet and larger, must submit a certification of high energy performance to the Philadelphia Office of Sustainability, or conduct a building energy “tune-up” to increase the energy performance of the building.

EEP was a proud member of the Office of Sustainability’s “work group” that helped develop the policy guidelines. We added our technical expertise, along with our focus on building owner interests and concerns, to create regulations that are achievable.

The Building Energy Performance Rule (Philadelphia Code 9-3403) contains a number of important provisions, along with a number of important exemptions:

  • Building owners must submit a “building tune-up report”. The tune-up report must summarize energy and water performance issues found by a “qualified tune-up specialist” (licensed P.E. or Certified Energy Manager, CEM), no later than the following schedule:
      • September 30, 2022 for buildings 200,000 sq. ft. or larger
      • September 30, 2022 for buildings 100,000 sq. ft. or larger
      • September 30, 2023 for buildings 70,000 sq. ft. or larger
      • September 30, 2024 for buildings between 50,000 and 70,000 sq. ft.
  • Each building must then re-submit their “tune-up” report every 5 years.
  • Building “tune-ups” must include assessments of certain identified base building systems that use or impact the building’s energy and water use; (e.g. building envelope, heating and ventilation systems, domestic hot water systems, electrical lighting among others).
  • The Philadelphia Office of Sustainability has now issued their final regulations, developed in consultation with stakeholders, to further clarify the specific aspects of the building inspection and tune-up process.

If your facility is exempt if it meets the following:

  • Received Certified EPA Energy Star Score of 75 or greater. A Professional Engineer can conduct an EPA energy benchmark on your building to determine your current EPA Energy Star Certification.
  • Completed an energy audit (ASHRAE Level II) and have implemented the “no-cost/low-cost” energy efficiency measures that were identified in the audit to meet the “Tune-Up” requirements.

How Can Building Owners and Operators Best Comply with the Philadelphia Building Energy Performance Rule?

As mentioned above, there are several exemptions to the new City policy that both satisfy the requirements outlined in the Building Energy Performance Program and can generate potential cash flow and positive savings for a building owner or operator. Regardless of your strategy to satisfy this regulation, as an owner or operator of a building in Philadelphia, we suggest:

  1. Review the process and eligibility requirements at https://www.phila.gov/programs/building-energy-performance-program/
  2. Contact a licensed P.E. or Certified Energy Manager to support your building tune-up efforts.
  3. EEP’s Engineering Team can certify your building’s Energy Star Score and can conduct an ASHRAE Level 2 audit at no cost*, no obligation to satisfy the policy requirements.

The Building Energy Performance Program is officially in effect. Is your building compliant?

EEP can define a strategy for your organization that will comply with the Philadelphia Building Tune-up Program. Our team provides no-cost, no-obligation audits as well as unique financing options so that your organization can preserve critical capital during these difficult times. Contact the EEP team today.