Building Energy Performance Standards

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Commercial and residential buildings emit greenhouse gasses and other pollution into the atmosphere, contributing to climate change and air quality concerns in Maryland. Burning fossil fuels for heat and hot water are two of the most common sources of direct emissions from buildings. 

Maryland is implementing Building Energy Performance Standards (BEPS) as required under the Climate Solutions Now Act of 2022. The goal is for covered buildings to efficiently ​achieve zero net direct greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. Property owners and builders can take action now to meet this target. The proposed regulations will be adopted in 2024 and building owners sho​uld prepare to report benchmarking data in 2025.​
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Efficient net-zero emissions buildings improve comfort, resilience, and reliability, and provide savings on energy costs compared to old, inefficient b​uildings that run on fossil fuels. Investments in achieving these standards are investments in the buildings that will pay dividends to occupants and building owners for decades to come. The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and Maryland Energy Administration (MEA)​ are working together as part of BEPS implementation to help buildings realize the benefits of efficient electrification. 
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Start by Benchmark​​ing

Buildings covered under state policy are 35,000 square feet and larger (excluding the parking garage area). Historic buildings, public and nonpublic elementary and secondary schools, manufacturing buildings, agricultural buildings, and federal buildings may apply to be exempted from the reporting and performance standards.  

Starting in 2025, owners of covered buildings will be required to report energy data to MDE​​ through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool. Starting in 2030, buildings must meet interim standards, with final standards, including net-zero direct emissions, required by 2040. 

Energy Efficiency Invest​​​​ments

These "no regrets" efficiency measures can help save building owners money in the long run and can mostly be implemented at any time:​

  • Conduct an energy audit, usually available from your local utility company ("annual physical for your building")
  • Install LED lighting ("more lighting for less energy")
  • Purchase ENERGY STAR certified electric equipment ("go on a Watt diet")
  • Make weatherization improvements to the building envelope including air sealing and insulation ("a sweater for your building")
  • Retro-commission building systems ("bring your building to the mechanic for a systems "tune-up")
  • Install control systems for plug loads, lighting, and HVAC equipment ("turn off the lights when you leave the room meets the 21st Century")


Time for an Upgrad​e?

If your equipment is getting old, now is the time to go all-electric and eliminate your direct emissions. 

Start preparing for the switch by checking if your electrical system can handle the increased load and looking at efficient electric equipment replacement options.​ The best time to switch is right before your old equipment completely breaks down. Sometimes, it might even save money to switch to electric earlier. 

Building owners should discuss these options with their building engineers and contractors. Wherever possible, building owners should pursue efficient electrification options, mainly heat pumps, which use 2-3 times less energy than their electric resistance counterparts. Common options for efficient electrification include: 

  • Heat pumps for space heating and cooling
  • Heat pumps or distributed electric point-of-use for water heating
  • Heat pump laundry systems
  • Induction cooking

We ​can help

Do you have questions? Email our Building Decarbonization Team at BEPS.MDE@maryland.gov​ or call (410) 537-3183. Other resources are available to help guide you: 
  • Sign up here to join our Building Energy Performance Standards communications list. 
  • Get started with the EPA's Energy Star Portfolio Manager tool by creating a free account​ and exploring Energy Star's online training resources​. You can use your 2023 utility billing data to see how your buildings perform before official benchmarking begins.
  • View the video on how and why to decarbonize buildings.
  • The Maryland Energy Administration will be launching the Clean Buildings Hub, a one-stop shop for relevant information and resources, such as decarbonization incentives. Sign up here to receive updates on its development. ​
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