Project in Anne Arundel Receives $2.9M from DOE for BEPS Development

A building energy performance standard (BEPS) development project in Anne Arundel received $2.9M from DOE.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) last week announced $90 million in competitive awards to help states, cities, tribes, and partnering organizations implement updated energy codes for buildings. These awards will ensure buildings meet the latest standards for energy efficiency — reducing greenhouse gas emissions and lowering energy bills for American families and businesses. Awardees will provide technical assistance for updating state and local building codes, which are projected to save Americans $138 billion on their utility bills and reduce 900 million metric tons of CO2 emissions by 2040.

Modernizing energy codes is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve energy efficiency in homes and businesses and make communities more resilient to extreme weather events, which are key to addressing the climate crisis and achieving the Biden-Harris Administration’s ambitious clean energy goals.

$2.9 Million to Maryland

  • ClearlyEnergy, Inc. (Severna Park, MD) will create regional building performance standard cohorts to implement building energy efficiency programs at a regional level in small, rural, and Justice40 communities, which offer opportunities to standardize policy models among adjacent jurisdictions and promote their consistency. (Award amount: $2.9 million)

Homes built to today’s energy codes are 40% more efficient than homes built 15 years ago, making energy costs a smaller fraction of household expenses, insulating hard-working families and underserved from communities from volatile fossil fuel prices. Energy codes substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions while also lowering builder risk.

BEPS in Maryland

Under 2022’s Climate Solutions Now Act, the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) has been tasked with developing statewide BEPS by the end of 2023. This process is fully underway, with the county comment period ending early last month. The new BEPS will cover buildings that are 35,000 square feet or larger (excluding the parking garage area). Historic properties, public and nonpublic elementary and secondary schools, manufacturing buildings, and agricultural buildings are exempt. Owners of covered buildings will need to report data to MDE each year beginning in 2025.

At the local level, Montgomery & Prince George’s Counties have had great success with their BEPS programs, recently joining the National Building Performance Standard (BPS) Coalition. Other counties have also been experimenting with adopting similar requirements.

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MACo Summer Conference

At the 2023 MACo Summer Conference general session, “More Than Bricks & Mortar (Part 2): Infrastructure & Climate Change” panelists will discuss near- and long-term challenges, including: how sea level rise will shape development, the impacts of hotter summers on public health, and the challenges and opportunities around full electrification. 

The 2023 MACo Summer Conference will be held at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, MD, on August 16-19. This year’s theme is “Where the Rubber Meets the Road.” More information can be found on our conference website.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference: