Are Any Buildings Exempt?
Yes. Exemptions are provided for high-performance buildings that demonstrate any of the following conditions at least 180 days before the scheduled tune-up:
- Certified ENERGY STAR score of at least 75 within the year immediately preceding the scheduled tune-up, or
- LEED Gold Rating for BOM v4, Net-Zero Energy Certification, or equivalent or better certification, within three years prior to scheduled tune-up, or
- Completed a utility retro-commissioning incentive offering under a Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission-approved energy efficiency program or other approved program within the preceding three years, or
- Completed a full retro- or re-commissioning procedure with documentation of optimized building performance, within three years prior, or
- Achieved energy savings of at least 15% and provided measurement/verification of Office of Sustainability within three years prior, or
- Underwent an energy audit at least as stringent as ASHRAE Level II standard and implemented all no/low-cost energy efficiency measures identified, or
- Already has in place active optimization efforts, including monitoring and ongoing commissioning, or
- Received an initial certificate of occupancy within the three years prior to the scheduled tune-up, or
- Is scheduled to be demolished within a year of the scheduled tune-up, or
- Other factors approved by the Director.
When Are Tune-Up Reports Due?
Subsequent tune-ups are every 5 years after the original tune-up date. Inspections and corrective actions must take place no earlier than 2 years prior to the scheduled tune-up date.
For a building owner with 20 or more covered buildings or cumulative floor area of 5 million sf or more, or for School District of Philadelphia buildings, application may be made to defer the deadline, but not later than 30 September 2024. Other extensions for “good cause” might include less than 50% occupancy or compliance that would place a burden “disproportionate to the value of the building.”
What Are the Penalties?
Violation carries a fine of $2,000. Beginning 30 days after the deadline, an additional fine of $500 per day will be imposed, so the impetus to have the tune-up completed on time is forceful.
What Will the City Do with this Information?
Public shaming, of a sort, aims to further encourage compliance. The Office of Sustainability will publish a public inventory of properties certified as “high performance,” as well as those that completed a tune-up, must complete one in a future year, or are in violation for non-compliance.
Every year, the Office of Sustainability will submit a report to the Council that addresses the energy and water efficiency of Philadelphia buildings and evaluates the accuracy of building energy tune-up reports. The annual report will also consider compliance and make recommendations for strengthening enforcement.