State and Local Policy Database

District of Columbia

State Scorecard Rank

11

District of Columbia

29.0Scored out of 50Updated 10/2019
State Government
Score: 3.5 out of 6
State Government Summary List All

The District of Columbia offers a grant to help nonprofits make energy-efficient investments, as well as PACE financing. The District leads by example by requiring energy-efficient public buildings and fleets and benchmarking public buildings as well as privately-owned commercial and multifamily residential buildings. DC funds research focused on energy efficiency through its Green Building Fund Grant Program.

Financial Incentives List All

Financial Incentive information for the District of Columbia is provided by the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE District of Columbiaand State Energy Office contacts. Information about additional incentives not present on DSIRE is listed here. In addition to the state-funded incentives on DSIRE and below, DC has enabled Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing and has one active program. For additional information on PACE, visit PACENation.

Green Light Grant Program: The program provides funding to research projects related to green buildings, including efficiency-related measures such as urban heat islands and zero-energy homes. The program provides funding to nonprofit organizations, government agencies or universities/higher educational institutions in order to meet the ambitious goals related to green buildings set out in the Mayor's Sustainable DC Plan.

Last Updated: July 2018

Carbon Pricing PoliciesList All

The District of Columbia does not yet have carbon pricing policies in place.

Last Reviewed: July 2019

Building Energy Disclosure List All
  • Building type(s) affected: commercial, residential multifamily

The Clean and Affordable Energy Act of 2008 requires that the energy and water performance of public buildings over 10,000 gross square feet and privately-owned commercial and multifamily residential buildings over 50,000 gross square feet be benchmarked using ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager® and the results reported annually to the District of Columbia Department of the Environment for public disclosure. The Clean Energy DC Omnibus Amendment Act of 2018 lowered the square footage threshold for benchmarking, adding private buildings 25,000 square feet and larger starting in 2021, and private buildings 10,000 square feet and larger by 2024. Additionally, all buildings subject to benchmarking are required to obtain 3rd party verification once every three years, beginning in 2021 for buildings 25,000 square feet and larger, and in 2024 for those 10,000 - 24,999 square feet. Results from DC Government buildings are available in the Build Smart DC database. Results from privately-owned buildings are available in the District of Columbia Open Data Portal and via an interactive map.

The District of Columbia mandated, in the Sustainable DC Act of 2014, that both electric and gas utilities provide aggregated whole-building data upon request to a building owner, and make that data available as a download and though automated upload to ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager®. The District was the first jurisdiction in the nation to put such a requirement into law.

The Clean Energy DC Act also established a building energy performance standard (BEPS) building on the benchmarking history. Buildings will be segmented by building type and assessed against the median ENERGY STAR score (or alternative metric, if applicable). Buildings will demonstrate that they exceed the local median ENERGY STAR score for their building type or will be required to follow either a performance or prescriptive pathway to achieve compliance. The Standard will be recalculated every five years and as smaller buildings are subject to the benchmarking requirements, they will also be required to comply with BEPS on a phased-in timeline.

Last Reviewed: July 2019

Public Building Requirements List All

The District of Columbia is a partner with the Better Buildings Challenge and has set a goal of reducing energy use by 20% across the portfolio by the end of 2020, as formalized in Mayors Order 2013-209. The entire District government portfolio has committed to the US DOE Better Buildings Challenge to reduce energy use by 20% by 2020. The Sustainable DC Plan sets a goal of reducing energy use in DC government buildings (and citywide) by 50% by 2032. Numerous pilot initiatives, assessments, and retrofits have already been executed to reduce energy use. Many of these projects have showed a 15% improvement in electricity consumption and some have reached 25% savings. Sustainable DC 2.0 calls on District Government to “retrofit and maintain all buildings owned by District Government to reduce energy use by 50% and maximize the installation of renewable energy technology.” Action EB.9 in the Clean Energy DC plan (released August 2018 and beginning implementation in 2019) calls on District government to lead in an aggressive deep energy retrofit program, followed by a net-zero retrofit program. Based on those recommendations, the Clean Energy DC Omnibus Act requires the District’s Department of General Services to complete the strategic energy management plan for reducing both energy & water use across their portfolio of government buildings by 2020, and codifies the 9% and 2.5% targets recommended by the Clean Energy DC Plan.

In July 2008, the District of Columbia passed Clean and Affordable Energy Act of 2008, which requires D.C. government buildings and large private commercial buildings to be benchmarked annually using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, and requires the disclosure of benchmarking results. Approximately 64% of public building square footage is benchmarked through Portfolio Manager. The District Department of Energy and the Environment (DOEE) and the Department of General Services (DGS) also voluntarily disclose benchmarking results for all DGS-managed properties and detailed 15-minute interval power consumption data for select properties on BuildSmartDC.com. The Clean Energy DC Act requires benchmarked buildings to obtain 3rd party verification once every three years for their benchmarking report, beginning in 2021. In addition, the D.C. government is a partner on the U.S. Department of Energy's (U.S. DOE) Better Buildings Challenge, with a goal to reduce energy usage in DGS properties by 20% by 2020 (baseline of 2012). DGS buildings are currently on track to meet this goal, with an average annual reduction of 2.8%.

The Green Building Act of 2006 requires new city building designs to earn an ENERGY STAR target finder score of at least 75 and that new city buildings be ENERGY STAR benchmarked annually. In addition, all DC Public Schools that are built or substantially improved must achieve the LEED for Schools certification at the Gold level or higher. With the Clean Energy DC Omnibus Act of 2018, DC buildings will be required to meet the local median ENERGY STAR score (or equivalent metric) for each property type, starting in 2021.

The District Government has benchmarked nearly 99% of government-owned floor area. The Government of the District of Columbia (and its instrumentalities) owns over 37.9 million square feet of building floor area; of this, an area of 37.4 million square feet is benchmarked in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager.

Last Reviewed: July 2019

Fleets List All

The District requires newly purchased or leased fleet vehicles to be of the maximum fuel efficiency, minimum size, and appropriate engine size necessary to meet operational needs (District Municipal Regulation, Title 27, Section 2116). The policy also requires a minimum of at least 22 miles per gallon (D.C. Code § 50-203) and limits the purchase of SUVs unless they are to be used for security, emergency, rescue, snow removal, or armored vehicles. 

District Municipal Regulation, Title 27, Section 2116 mandates the use of compact size, passenger vehicles for District government operations. Any exceptions must be justified based on a program needs and approved by the Director of the Department of Public Works (DPW).  The Director of DPW has imposed a policy for every new vehicle purchased or leased; the same number of vehicles must be surrendered for removal from the fleet (one-for-one replacement). The DPW also utilizes right-sizing.

The DC Fleet Share program reduces fleet size and vehicle miles traveled and improves fuel efficiency. It comprises 85 government-owned vehicles, 98% of which are CNGs, hybrids, and E-85s including 4 all electric vehicles. The program has resulted in reducing 360 passenger vehicles from the fleet, or 17% of the fleet’s passenger vehicles. The program also helps reduce frivolous driving as agency managers can track vehicle usage in real time, detect whether or not a vehicle is left running, and the miles travelled for each reservation. The fleet also includes non-vehicle alternatives including segways, mountain bikes, and scooters which has allowed the District to avoid the use of fuel for the equivalent of 50 vehicles.

The Clean Energy DC Omnibus Amendment Act of 2018 (enacted March 2019) includes a transportation electrification. Specifically, it calls for (among other vehicles) public buses, passenger- and light-duty vehicles licensed to operated in the District of Columbia to be zero-emission by 2045, with a plan to phase in at 50% by 2030, 75% by 2035, and 90% by 2040. Additionally, the Act requires the District Department of Transportation to submit a clean vehicle transition plan that, among other things, provides recommendations for policies to achieve 100% replacement of public buses, including school buses, with electric buses upon the end of their useful life, by calendar year 2021.

Last Reviewed: July 2019

Energy Savings Performance Contracting List All

The District's new Green Bank (established July 2018) will use a number of financing methods including Energy Savings Performance Contracts. The Department of General Services is also investigating entering into ESPCs for select buildings.

Last Reviewed: July 2019

Research & Development List All

The Green Building Fund Grant program supports "greening" the built environment in the District of Columbia. Grant projects focused on research, data analysis, training, or engagement help the District lead the way in enacting innovative policies that drive toward greater social, environmental, and economic sustainability for the city. Since the program launched in 2013, over $2.5 million has been invested in 17 projects. These innovative research programs provide the necessary backbone for creation of informed public policies that will help build a truly sustainable city. Past and current projects that focus on increasing energy efficiency include the Smarter DC Challenge, which focuses on businesses and commercial properties; Power Down DC ,which focuses on the multifamily residential market; a Green Finance study, which analyzed and made recommendations for implementing a suite of financial programs that would increase energy efficiency, including the creation of a green bank and incentives for deep green buildings; a Microgrid feasibility study; a Sustainable Community Planning project to conduct Living Community planning into large development parcels; the development of Historic Building Sustainability Guidelines, to remove barriers to the use of energy-efficient practices in retrofits of historic structures; and Tools for Deep Green Building which will provide training and technical resources to support zero energy buildings. In August 2018, the District released its Comprehensive Energy Plan, Clean Energy DC, that lays out 55 actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions citywide by over 50% by 2032. Specific energy efficiency actions are modeled, including net-zero energy codes by 2026, major retrofit programs for at least 20% of citywide floor area, a Building Energy Performance Standard for existing buildings, leveraging district energy for enhanced efficiency, and the use of mode shift to reduce transportation energy use. DOEE is also formally investigating energy efficiency measures that can be taken with respect to the electric and natural gas distribution systems in connection with Formal Case 1130 (Modernizing Energy Delivery System for Increased Sustainability) and Formal Case 1137 (Washington Gas's base rate filing).

Last Reviewed: July 2019

Buildings
Score: 6 out of 8
Buildings Summary List All

Washington, DC requires compliance with the 2012 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2010 for residential and commercial buildings, and requires large new construction to comply with the International Green Construction Code (IgCC). DC has completed a new 2017 code that is based on the 2015 IECC and includes an optional net-zero energy code path. Code compliance and outreach efforts are led by the District Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs' Green Building Division. 

Residential Codes List All

Washington DC's energy codes are mandatory across the District. For residential buildings, builders must comply with the 2013 DC Energy Conservation code, which is roughly equivalent to the 2012 IECC.  The District also has a Green Construction Code that enhances energy efficiency requirements in addition to the energy code.  It applies to all commercial construction projects 10,000 square feet and larger and all residential projects that are 10,000 square feet and larger and four stories or higher.

Last Reviewed: September 2019

Commercial Code List All

Washington DC's energy codes are mandatory across the District. For commercial buildings, builders must again comply with the 2013 DC Energy Conservation Code, which is based on ASHRAE 90.1-2010 and 2012 IECC-Commercial. The District also has a Green Construction Code that enhances energy efficiency requirements in addition to the energy code.  It applies to all commercial construction projects 10,000 square feet and larger and all residential projects that are 10,000 square feet and larger and four stories or higher.

Last Reviewed: September 2019

Compliance List All
  • Gap Analysis/Strategic Compliance Plan: The District Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) established the Green Building Division in late winter of 2013 to specifically focus on the strategic assessment and implementation of the 2013 DC Energy Code, 2013 Green Code, the Green Building Act, and other related regulations in the city. Based on the findings of a 2014 energy compliance baseline study, the Green Building Division built out a strategic plan and has built and staffed an entirely new enforcement program with eight full time employees from early 2013 until now. DC has completed a Comprehensive Energy Plan, called Clean Energy DC, which was published November 2, 2017. Clean Energy DC provides a detailed roadmap that outlines long-term targets and goals surrounding energy efficiency, generation, buildings, and transportation. 
  • Baseline & Updated Compliance Studies: In 2014, DCRA worked with the Institute of Market Transformation to conduct an analysis of the rate energy code compliance and to make recommendations on how to increase energy code compliance. The audit relied upon the City Energy Project Assessment Methodology for medium to large cities.  This methodology helps to provide an informal energy code compliance rate, and is not intended to be statistically valid.  A detailed code compliance study was conducted in 2016--IMT and Cadmus' audit found that DCRA set a new standard for commercial energy code enforcement, with a weighted code compliance rate of 99%.
  • Utility Involvement: Regulatory guidelines have been established requiring significant utility involvement in supporting building energy code compliance. DCSEU meets weekly with DCRA to discuss issues relating to the energy code, and reguarly offers code compliance trainings.
  • Stakeholder Advisory Group: The Construction Codes Coordinating Board (CCCB), housed with DCRA and whose membership includes District government and private-industry experts, drafted the strategic changes. More than 100 individuals, including architects, engineers, contractors, property managers, real estate developers and government regulators, contributed their time, through Technical Advisory Group meetings, to ensure the most appropriate codes possible. Other active stakeholder groups include the Residential Code and Residential Energy Code Technical Advisory Group, the Commericial Energy and Green Code Technical Advisory Group, and the Green Building Advisory Council
  • Training/Outreach: In 2006 a sweeping piece of legislation called the Green Building Act was set in place to ensure green building compliance.  The Green Building Division at the Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) is responsible for the interpretation and execution of this act.  DCRA works closely with sister agencies, such as the Department of Energy and the Environment, to make sure the Green Building act along with energy codes are updated on a regular basis.  Trainings are provided during each code cycle update to help provide guidance for project teams.  The Green Building Professional Seminar Series is an annual monthly seminar series organized by staff and presented by private side industry leaders. Several tools to help project teams identify compliance paths, organize code measures and communicate compliance are available to view on BuildGreenDC.org.

Last Reviewed: September 2019

CHP
Score: 1 out of 3
CHP Summary List All

The district offers incentives for CHP projects and has favorable interconnection standards, but otherwise has limited policies to encourage CHP. One new CHP system was installed in 2018.

Interconnection StandardsList All

Policy: District of Columbia Small Generator Interconnection Rules (DCSGIR)

Description: In February 2009, the District of Columbia Public Service Commission (DCPSC) adopted interconnection regulations that apply to systems up to 10 MW that are operated in parallel with the electric distribution system and not subject to the interconnection requirements of PJM. Four tiers are laid out with various criteria systems seeking to interconnect. IEEE 1547 is generally used as a technical standard for evaluation. External disconnect switches are not required for systems below 10 kW, but are required for all other systems. Systems larger than 1 MW require liability insurance.

Last Updated: July 2018

Encouraging CHP as a ResourceList All

There are currently no state policies designed to acquire energy savings from CHP (like other efficiency resources) or energy generation from CHP (in terms of kWh production) that apply to all forms of CHP.

Last Updated: September 2018

Deployment IncentivesList All

Incentives, grants, or financing: Cogeneration Personal Property Tax Credit helps provide a 100% personal property tax exemption for cogeneration facilities within the District. Owners of cogeneration equipment used for developments of more than one million square feet are eligible if the fuel used to generate power was previously subject to a D.C. tax.

Net metering: District of Columbia Net Metering provides compensation for customers' monthly net excess generation (NEG) depending on the size of the generator. For smaller systems of100 kW or less, NEG is credited to the customer's next bill at the full retail rate, and for systems over 100 kW up to 1 MW, NEG is credited to the customer's bill at the generation rate.

Last Updated: July 2018

Additional Supportive PoliciesList All

There are currently some additional supportive policies to encourage CHP in DC. The District has worked in partnership with the US DOE CHP Technical Assistance Partnerships to help garner future CHP projects. Additionally, the city's Comprehensive Energy Plan, Clean Energy DC, identified several high priority sites for district energy and microgrid systems that incorporate CHP. The District operates a program that provides technical assistance to those wanting to integrate district energy and CHP into future developments, called the "microgrid extention service". The DC Sustainable Energy Utility has also provided EM&V review of a project's potential to screen under the Societal Cost Test. Further technical assistance includes Account Management and Engineering expertise to assess further benefits to the community or site where the CHP will be installed.

DC is also developing resiliency-centered microgrids for critical infrastructure, which will use CHP. The DC Public Service Commission is also examining a potential CHP-centered microgrid pilot project which will provide resiliency.  

Last Updated: August 2019

Utilities
Score: 9.5 out of 20
Utilities Summary List All

The District of Columbia has had customer energy efficiency programs funded by a systems benefits charge and administered by the District of Columbia Energy Office since a 2005 decision by the DC Public Service Commission. This fund, the Reliable Energy Trust Fund, was created as a result of the District's 1999 Retail Electric Competition and Consumer Protection Act. The fund has supported a variety of programs and services since it was established in 2005. Initial funding in 2006 was about $8 million.

In 2008, the District of Columbia enacted the Clean and Affordable Energy Act, which eliminated the Reliable Energy Trust Fund and replaced it with the Sustainable Energy Trust Fund. This fund is administered by DC's third-party "Sustainable Energy Utility" (DCSEU). Under the contract between the District Department of the Environment and the SEU, the SEU can earn performance incentives for surpassing benchmarks and can be financially penalized for failing to meet the required performance benchmarks. In April 2017, DCSEU moved to a five-year operational contract, which allows for larger, longer projects, and higher cumulative savings targets over the five years.

Responsibility for the implementation of energy efficiency programs was transferred from PEPCO to DCSEU in 2011.  The most recent budgets for energy efficiency programs and electricity and natural gas savings can be found in the State Spending and Savings Tables. 

Last updated: June 2018

Customer Energy Efficiency Programs List All

The District of Columbia has had customer energy efficiency programs funded by a systems benefits charge since a 2005 decision by the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia. The Reliable Energy Trust Fund was created as a result of authorization included in the District's 1999 "Retail Electric Competition and Consumer Protection Act." The fund had supported a variety of programs and services since 2005. Program services included energy awareness programs, rebates for efficient appliances, and low-income energy assistance.

In December 2008, the DC Public Service Commission approved five demand-side management programs. These programs were initially implemented by Potomac Electric Power Company (PEPCO), the local investor-owned utility.

In 2008, the District of Columbia enacted the Clean and Affordable Energy Act, which effectively eliminated the Reliable Energy Trust Fund and replaced it with a new fund, the Sustainable Energy Trust Fund. This fund is administered by the District Department of the Environment, and it funds DC's third-party "Sustainable Energy Utility" (DCSEU). Responsibility for the implementation of energy efficiency programs was transferred from PEPCO to DCSEU in 2011. In 2011, the District of Columbia awarded a performance-based contract to VEIC to operate the DCSEU under a one-year contract with additional option years. In 2016, the District solicited proposals to operate the DCSEU under a new five-year performance-based contract with an optional five-year extension. In 2017, the contract was awarded to VEIC, which designs and implements the DCSEU’s residential, commercial and institutional, and multifamily energy efficiency programs as well as some renewable energy programs. Under the contract awarded in 2017, the DCSEU’s energy savings goals are cumulative across the five-year contract period rather than on an annual basis.

The most recent budgets for energy efficiency programs and electricity and natural gas savings can be found in the State Spending and Savings Tables.

Last reviewed: July 2019

Energy Efficiency as a Resource List All
Energy efficiency is considered the primary resource in Department of Energy & Environment's draft Comprehensive Energy Plan.  In addition, DC SEU has been bidding aggregated energy efficiency measures into PJM's capacity market with DOEE's full support.
 
For more information on energy efficiency as a resource, click here.
 
Last reviewed: July 2019
Energy Efficiency Resource Standards List All

The Clean and Affordable Energy Act of 2008 (CAEA) requires the Mayor, through DOEE, to contract with a private entity to conduct sustainable energy programs on behalf of the District of Columbia. The CAEA authorizes the creation of a District of Columbia Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU) and designates the SEU to be the one-stop resource for energy efficiency and renewable energy services for District residents and businesses. The DCSEU operates under a performance-based contract with DOEE, with input and recommendations from the SEU Advisory Board, and oversight from the Council of the District of Columbia.

Laws allow for multi-year performance contracts, and as a result DCSEU will be able to operate on a multi-year contract with a 5-year base period and another 5-year extension period.  This contract has energy use reduction targets for electricity and natural gas. The target is 0.85% of 2009 electric and gas consumption in D.C. However, this goal is not mandatory and DCSEU earns performance compensation at levels below that.

In January 2019, Mayor Bowser signed the Clean Energy DC Omnibus Amendment Act of 2018 increasing the District's Renewable Portfolio Standard to 100% by 2032 and making significant improvements to the energy efficiency of existing buildings. The bill also tripled the Sustainable Energy Trust Fund (SETF) per therm assessment on natural gas (to $0.04515 per therm in 2020) and doubled the per kWh assesment on electricity (to $0.0029016 per kWh in 2020). Electricity from renewable sources covered by RECs under the RPS is exempt from the SETF. In 2020 and 2021, $15 million in SETF revenue will go to fund the Green Finance Authority (the Green Bank), decreasing to $10 million annually for 2022-2025. For 2020 and beyond, at least 20% of SETF funds generated by the increased assessment on natural gas will go specifically towards low-income residents (bill assistance, energy efficiency, weatherization, fuel-switching programs).

For more information on Energy Efficiency Resource Standards, click here.

Last reviewed: July 2019

Utility Business Model List All

In September 2009, Potomac Electric Power Company (PEPCO) received approval for its Bill Stabilization Adjustment (BSA) which would implement electric revenue decoupling. (Case No. 1053, Order No. 15556). Pepco's BSA was offered and approved by the Commission to further public policy goals of encouraging the development of energy efficiency. The BSA is intended to account for changes in usage due to variations in weather, customer response to generation price increases or energy efficiency programs. The BSA is applied on a monthly basis to the distribution charge of all customer classes except street lighting and telecommunications network customers. More info is available here.

In April 2016, Washington Gas filed a request for decoupling, but it was not accepted by the commission (Formal Case 1137, Order No. 19236).

The DC Council adopted the Clean and Affordable Energy Act (CAEA) of 2008 effective October 1, 2008 which authorizes the Energy Office to contract with a “Sustainable Energy Utility” (SEU) for the implementation of energy efficiency programs. Section 202 of the CAEA, codified at section 8-1774.02, specifies that the contract between the District Department of the Environment and the SEU “shall be performance based and shall provide financial incentives for the SEU to surpass the performance benchmarks set forth in the SEU contract. The SEU contract shall also provide financial penalties to be applied to the SEU if the SEU fails to meet the required performance benchmarks.” In April 2017, DCSEU moved to operating on a five-year contract, which allows for larger, longer projects, and higher savings targets over the five years.

In 2008, the District of Columbia enacted the Clean and Affordable Energy Act, which effectively eliminated the Reliable Energy Trust Fund and replaced it with a new fund, the Sustainable Energy Trust Fund. This fund is administered by the District Department of the Environment, and it funds DC's third-party "Sustainable Energy Utility" (DCSEU). Responsibility for the implementation of energy efficiency programs was transferred from PEPCO to DCSEU in 2011. In 2011, the District of Columbia awarded a performance-based contract to VEIC to operate the DCSEU under a one-year contract with additional option years. In 2016, the District solicited proposals to operate the DCSEU under a new five-year performance-based contract with an optional five-year extension. In 2017, the contract was awarded to VEIC, which designs and implements the DCSEU’s residential, commercial and institutional, and multifamily energy efficiency programs as well as some renewable energy programs. Under the contract awarded in 2017, the DCSEU’s energy savings goals are cumulative across the five-year contract period rather than on an annual basis.

Benchmarks have minimum and maximum levels of achievement. There are separate incentives for achievement of the electricity and natural gas consumption reduction benchmarks, so as to incentivize the achievement of the maximum possible savings for each energy source. During the FY2017-FY2021 base period of the current contract, VEIC will be evaluated after each fiscal year of performance. In order to be eligibile for the performance incentives for electricity and natural gas, the VEIC is required to meet the minimum performance targets for reductions in both electricity and natural gas consumption. 

Last reviewed: July 2019

Evaluation, Measurement, & Verification List All
  • Cost-effectiveness test(s) used: SCT
  • Uses a deemed savings database: yes

Evaluation of ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs in the District of Columbia is mandated by legislation (Clean and Affordable Energy Act of 2008). Evaluations are administered the District Department of the Environment using an independent contractor. DCSEU's FY 2017 portfolio of programs is cost effective, with a benefit cost ratio of 2.25, according to the Tetra Tech Evaluation report for DCSEU FY17 Performance Benchmark Assessment of DCSEU Programs. There are no specific legal requirements for these evaluations. Evaluations are conducted for the portfolio of programs administered by the DCSEU. The District of Columbia relies on the Social Cost Test (SCT) and considers it to be its primary cost-effectiveness test. The rules for benefit-cost tests are stated in the Clean and Affordable Energy Act of 2008. These benefit-cost tests are required for overall portfolio screening.

Last reviewed: July 2019

Guidelines for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs List All

Requirements for State and Utility Support of Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

The DC Council adopted the Clean and Affordable Energy Act (CAEA) of 2008 effective October 1, 2008, which authorizes the Energy Office to contract with a DC “Sustainable Energy Utility” (SEU) for the implementation of energy efficiency programs. The legislation also established a separate Energy Assistance Trust Fund (EATF) to be used solely to fund: “(1) the existing low-income programs in the amount of $3.3 million annually; and (2) the Residential Aid Discount subsidy in the amount of $3 million annually.” Sec. 201 of the legislation specifies that the contract with DC SEU shall “improve the energy efficiency of low-income housing in the District of Columbia.” 

For the 2017-2021 program cycle the low-income spending requirement was adjusted to 20% of expenditures. 

Cost-Effectiveness Rules for Low-Income Energy Efficiency Programs

While no specific rules are in place for low-income programs, programs that are not cost effective may be included in DCSEU’s portfolio as long as the overall portfolio is cost effective based on the societal cost test. A 5% adder is applied to program benefits to account for additional non-energy benefits including comfort, noise reduction, aesthetics, health and safety, ease of selling/leasing home or building, improved occupant productivity, reduced work absences due to reduced illnesses, ability to stay in home/avoid moves, and macroeconomic benefits.

Coordination of Ratepayer-Funded Low-Income Programs with WAP Services

The federal Weatherization Assistance Program is administered by the Department of Energy & Environment’s Energy Administration Energy Efficiency and Conservation Branch (EECB), which leverages 15% of its WAP grant to seek additional funds from the DC SEU and local District General Funds, to supplement WAP and increase the number of homes to be weatherized. Utilities and the District coordinate through the Income Qualified Efficiency Fund. More info on the IQEF is available here.

Last reviewed: July 2019

Self Direct and Opt-Out Programs List All

DC does not allow for large customers to self-direct the funds they would have paid for energy efficiency, nor to opt-out entirely from participating in energy efficiency programs. 

Last reviewed: July 2019

Data AccessList All

For customers to access their own electricity data, or share that data with others, Pepco makes use of the Green Button data sharing platform. Residential customers can download a spreadsheet or XML file of their 15-minute-interval electricity data (“Green Button Download my Data”), and commercial customers can access a next-day Application Programming Interface (API) feed of their 15-minute interval consumption data at Green Button Connect My Data

Guidelines for Third Party Access

DC has benchmarking laws and regulations that allows for third party access to aggregated customer use data.  All publicly owned buildings over 10,000 SF and all commercial and multi-family buildings over 50,000 SF must report their monthly consumption data. This information is available to the public on BuildsmartDC.com.  

Third parties may gain access to 15-minute interval data in Green Button formats with customer consent. Third-parties with a need to access many accounts, such as DC Sustainable Energy Utility, can get an online portal that allows them to view all the accounts to which they have been granted access. Washington gas does not have interval meters, but allows third parties to electronically access and download monthly utility data with customer consent via Utili portal.  

Requirements for Provision of Energy Use Data

Aggregated benchmarked data that have been screened for privacy and security concerns are available to the public in CSV format online.  The District of Columbia mandated, in the Sustainable DC Act of 2014, that both electric and gas utilities provide aggregated whole-building data upon request to a building owner, and also provide automated benchmarking services to upload that data to ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager®. Aggregated whole building data does not require customer consent when 5 or more meters are being aggregated. DOEE provides detailed guidance for customers accessing aggregated whole building data.

Pepco provides automated upload of whole building electricity data to Portfolio Manager, using a service called Resource Advisor. Once set up, up to two years of historical data can be uploaded, and electricity data is updated on monthly basis thereafter. Data is aggregated to the whole building level for five or more accounts, in order to protect privacy while easing the processes of benchmarking multi-tenant buildings. 

The utilities provide the region with detailed electricity and natural gas consumption data by zip code. 

Energy Use Data Availability

Interval meters for electric are for the most part installed throughout the District. Third parties have access to all data that has been collected since the meters were installed. 

Last reviewed: July 2019

Transportation
Score: 9 out of 10
Transportation Summary List All

Tailpipe emissions standards and incentives for high efficiency vehicles are in place. The District allocated a notable amount of funding for transportation.

Tailpipe Emission Standards List All

The District adopted the Clean Cars Act of 2008, which adopts the California emission standards and compliance requirements for vehicles of model year 2012 and thereafter. The California standards will require all cars and light trucks sold to average more than 50 miles per gallon by 2025. On May 2, 2018, Mayor Muriel Bowser issued Executive Order 2018-044, which charged the Department of Energy and Environment with implementing and enforcing the Clean Cars Act of 2008.

Last Reviewed: July 2019

Transportation System Efficiency List All

Transportation and Land Use Integration: The District of Columbia's Zoning Regulations (DCMR Title 11) include numerous provisions to encourage sustainable, compact, accessible development. These include density bonuses in commercial corridors and downtown; reduction of parking requirements in transit-adjacent areas; numerous mixed-use zones; requirements for both short- and long-term bicycle parking; allowance of accessory dwelling units and small-scale commercial activity in lower-density residential zones. 

VMT Targets: Sustainable DC 2.0 (released April 2019) has a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation by 60% by 2032 (compared to a 2006 baseline). Transportation emissions are measured annually in the GHG inventory.

Complete Streets: DC Department of Transportation has a complete streets policy in place that accomodates all modes of transportation in the maintenance and construction of roads.

FAST Freight Plans and Goals: The District of Columbia has a state freight plan that identifies a multimodal freight network, but it does not include freight energy or greenhouse gas reduction goals.

Last Reviewed: July 2019

Transit Funding List All

No policy in place or proposed.

Last Reviewed: July 2019

Incentives for High-Efficiency Vehicles List All

The District of Columbia allows owners of Alternative Fuel Vehicles (AFV) and vehicles that achieve an estimated average city fuel economy of 40mpg according to the EPA to be exempt from vehicle excise taxes. Reduced vehicle registration fees also apply to owners of such vehicles.

Last Reviewed: July 2019

Equitable Access to TransportationList All
D.C.'s Amendment 10801 to the Housing Code requires the creation of low-income housing near transit facilities. The District also considers the proximity of transit facilities when distributing federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits to qualifying property owners. Last Reviewed: July 2019
Appliance Standards
Score: 0 out of 3
Appliance Standards Summary List All

Policy: D.C. Codes § 8-1771; Energy Efficiency Standards Act of 2007

Description: In 2007 the District of Columbia introduced legislation, titled the Energy Efficiency Standards Act of 2007, which created standards for six products. On January 1st, 2009, four of these standards were preempted by the federal standards included in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. D.C. continues to enforce standards on two products: bottle-type water dispensers and commercial hot-food holding cabinets.  https://beta.code.dccouncil.us/dc/council/code/sections/8-1771.02.html

 

Last Updated: July 2018