Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich signed local legislation adopting building energy performance standards (BEPS).
Yesterday Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich signed the “Building Energy Performance Standards” (BEPS) legislation (Bill 16-21) into law. The bill, which was passed unanimously by the County Council on April 19, will expand the County’s benchmarking requirements by setting minimum energy performance standards for existing buildings. This will be one of the most effective ways to reduce energy demand, and carbon pollution from the built environment as the County tackles its ambitious climate change goals.
The new law expands the number of buildings covered by the County’s existing Benchmarking Law to include additional County-owned, commercial and multifamily buildings and establishes long-term standards for those buildings and require the use of less energy.
According to the press release:
“This new law will lead to energy improvements for multifamily residential and commercial buildings that will save money and create new local jobs,” said County Executive Elrich. “My administration is proud to have collaborated with the commercial and multifamily building sector in developing this legislation. Climate change is something we must address with a sense of urgency, and with this new law, our County is taking a big, bold step forward.”
Montgomery County is among the first local jurisdictions in this nation to embark on this type of ambitious, game-changing legislation and has gained the attention of President Biden’s Council on Environmental Quality and environmental activists across the country. Other jurisdictions, like Denver, Colorado, specifically credited this proposal as their model.
This new BEPS law will expand the number of buildings covered to include commercial and multifamily buildings that are 25,000 gross square feet and greater. Montgomery County currently has more than 5,000 commercial and multifamily properties that cover more than 288 million square feet of rentable building area. The County’s commercial building stock is primarily made up of office, multifamily and retail buildings. Commercial buildings account for 26 percent of community-wide greenhouse gas emissions in the County.