Philadelphia’s Building Energy Performance Policy

Understanding Philadelphia's Building Energy Performance PolicyUnderstanding Philadelphia’s Building Energy Performance Policy. As cities and municipalities look to implement solutions that will reduce carbon emissions, Pennoni is positioned to help meet the voluntary or mandatory requirements proposed. Representatives from Pennoni participated in the Advisory Group for the Philadelphia Building Energy Performance Policy. This group provides guidance, asks questions, and shares concerns as the City develops the regulations and is comprised of representatives with a connection to the policy including service providers, building owners and managers, and legislative reps.

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Office buildings, and multifamily housing, and colleges and universities represent 72% of Philadelphia’s carbon footprint. The Building Energy Performance Policy passed in the Fall of 2019, builds on the City’s 2012 energy benchmarking policy and program. The benchmarking law requires building owners with space greater than 50,0000 SF to measure and report their yearly energy usage.

The new bill mandates that those same buildings perform regular building inspections and tune-ups to improve their energy efficiency. Philadelphia projects that the policy, the City’s first to require building energy performance improvements, will cut 200,000 metric tons of carbon pollution. The goal is that by 2050, carbon emissions will be reduced by 80%.

Voluntary compliance of the program begins in 2020, with the first mandatory compliance deadline in September 2021 for non-residential buildings 200,000 square feet and greater. There are two compliance pathways: affirmation of high performance or building tune-up.

Philadelphia’s Building Energy Performance Policy – HIGH-PERFORMANCE PATHWAY:

• ENERGY STAR certification
• Net-Zero Energy Certification
• Participation in utility retro-commissioning programs
• Demonstrated energy savings of at least 15%
• Demonstrated continuous commissioning

Philadelphia’s Building Energy Performance Policy -TUNE-UP PATHWAY:

Building tune-ups require small tweaks to existing systems and controls that will lead to savings for building owners and increased comfort for tenants.

Pennoni’s Energy Division can provide the energy services necessary to assist clients in meeting compliance requirements. Our Utilities Watch solution satisfies compliance through proof of high performance. As a Continuous Monitoring and Commissioning service, this solution optimizes the energy operation of a building by as much as 20%, reduces GHG emissions, increases Energy Star scores, and provides a proactive platform for building engineers to address issues as they occur.

Through energy audits, we can develop automated and manual “shut off” routines and recommendations such as lighting retrofits and HVAC sequence improvements. Most audits identify savings ranging from 10 to 30% of a building’s total energy use. Our energy experts can also perform building tune-ups on energy and water systems and provide documentation of the various systems and controls that will lead to savings and comfort.

If you’re in the Philadelphia area and would like to explore voluntary compliance measures of if you’re looking for information on how to improve your building’s energy efficiency and reduce costs, contact Tony Lepre.

Tony Lepre