Clean Buildings Law

The Washington Clean Buildings Act (HB1257), also known as the Clean Buildings Law, was signed into law in 2019. The law required the Washington State Department of Commerce (Commerce) to develop and implement an energy performance standard for commercial buildings greater than 50,000 square feet, and provide incentives to encourage energy efficiency improvements for early adopters.

LCPUD is required to administer the early adopter incentive payments on behalf of Commerce. For more information on the law and how to comply, visit the Washington State Department of Commerce.

Does this apply to my building?

This standard is mandatory for all covered commercial buildings larger than 50,000 square feet (sf) located in Washington State. According to the Department of Commerce, “A covered commercial building is a building where the sum of nonresidential, hotel, motel and dormitory floor areas exceed 50,000 gross square feet, excluding the parking garage area.” For more information on exemptions and if you building is covered, visit the Washington State Department of Commerce.

How will building owners be notified?

The Department of Commerce (Commerce) will be posting compliance requirements and a full list of possible covered commercial buildings on the Clean Buildings webpage, available beginning July 1, 2021. The list was generated using records obtained from each county assessor and other available information sources. Commerce will also be mailing notification letters to building owners after quality assurance checks on the list are complete.

How do I comply with the law?

Compliance with the law requires several steps. First, building owners need to develop two plans: an energy management plan and an operations and maintenance plan. In addition, buildings will either need to meet an energy performance standard OR meet the law by conducting energy audits by qualified professionals and implementing cost-effective energy conservation measures.

In select cases, building owners may obtain temporary exemptions. If a building owner does not comply, the State may levy fines. Newly constructed buildings must meet more stringent performance requirements. Lastly, select building types are exempt, e.g., industrial facilities, but an exemption must be filed to and approved by Commerce.

When is the law mandatory for building owners? (Compliance Dates)

Compliance dates are organized based on the floor area of buildings that fall under the law. Building owners will then need to comply every five years after their first compliance date.

Compliance dates by building size:

June 1, 2026:Over 220,000 sf (and then every five years thereafter)
June 1, 2027:90,001 – 220,000 sf (and then every five years thereafter)
June 1, 2028:50,000 – 90,000 sf (and then every five years thereafter)


Early Adopter Incentive Program

To support building owners that need to improve their building energy performance, Commerce will administer the Early Adopter Incentive program that begins July 1, 2021.  To see if your project may be eligible, visit Clean Buildings – Early Adopter Incentive Program.

The state early adopter incentives will be paid by LCPUD and reimbursed to the PUD as a credit on our Public Utility Tax. All incentive decisions are made at the state level. LCPUD’s involvement with this incentive is strictly as an administrator of incentive payment on behalf of the state.

Energy Star Portfolio Manager

The Energy Star Portfolio Manager helps businesses measure and track their power and water consumption against other similar businesses across the country.

The Clean Buildings Law requires buildings to report their energy performance using Energy Star Portfolio Manager. Benchmarking will also help determine which compliance path building owners may pursue. LCPUD must provide aggregated, building level electric consumption data to the building owner or a duly authorized building owner representative.

We will work with you to upload historical consumption data when available. We are currently working on software updates that, when complete, should allow us to automatically upload data each billing cycle.

LCPUD Energy Efficiency Programs

LCPUD provides their commercial and industrial customers free energy assessments to help identify potential efficiency improvement and energy efficiency incentives. However, these audits do not meet the energy auditing requirements of the Clean Buildings Law, and we do not offer incentives that assist with the funding of State required energy audits by a qualified energy management professional.

Under the Clean Building Law, building owners who upgrade their facilities to meet their EUI targets, may be eligible for LCPUD’s energy efficiency incentive programs. Please contact the Energy Services Department to find out more.

More information about available programs can be found at: LCPUD Commercial & Industrial Energy Efficiency Programs

Additional Resources