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Philadelphia Building Energy Performance Policy Goes Into Effect

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The City’s Building Energy Performance Policy has gone into effect to improve energy efficiency in Philadelphia’s large non-residential buildings. The policy, which Mayor Kenney signed into law in December 2019, requires all non-residential buildings 50,000 square feet and larger to either certify high performance or conduct a “tune-up” to improve efficiency in existing building systems.

Through the tune-up process, building energy systems and controls are reviewed and minor tweaks are made to bring them up to a good state of performance. On average, these tweaks result in 10-15% annual energy savings while also providing a more comfortable space for tenants. Once implemented, this policy is projected to cut carbon pollution in Philadelphia by nearly 200,000 metric tons, which is the equivalent of taking 40,000 automobiles off the road.

The regulations and associated tune-up exhibit, which were created after an extensive stakeholder engagement process, detail compliance requirements including the types of buildings that must comply, requirements for conducting a tune-up, qualifications for “Tune-up Specialists,” high-performance exemption options and required documentation, deadline extension opportunities, and unique options for large portfolios.

Resources for Building Owners and Managers

The Office of Sustainability has released several resources to support compliance, including:

Additional resources, including a Building Energy Performance Program Guide, a tune-up worksheet, and high-performance exemption pathway application forms will be published in the coming weeks to further support building owners and managers. Check the web page for updates on available resources.

Building Energy Performance Policy Compliance Deadlines

Compliance deadlines vary depending on building size, and buildings must comply by the deadlines below. Due to COVID-19, buildings with a September 30, 2021, compliance deadline can apply for a six-month extension. To request an extension, please submit the Compliance Extension Request Form by April 5, 2021.

  • September 30, 2021: Buildings larger than 200,000 square feet
  • September 30, 2022: Buildings between 100,000 – 200,000 square feet
  • September 30, 2023: Buildings between 70,000 – 100,000 square feet
  • September 30, 2024: Buildings between 50,000 – 70,000 square feet

These deadlines are for the submission of a completed tune-up report only. High performance and other exemption documentation is required 180 days prior to these deadlines.

Stay Updated

To stay up-to-date as new resources and information are released, join the Building Energy Performance mailing list by sending an email to TuneUps@phila.gov. Visit the Building Energy Performance Program web page to learn more.

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