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The U.S. Department of Energy and the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center are excited to announce that a new, modernized DSIRE is under construction. The new version of DSIRE will offer significant improvements over the current version, including expanded data accessibility and an array of new tools for site users. The new DSIRE site will be available in December 2014. Staff are currently working hard on the new version of DSIRE but are also maintaining the content of the current version of DSIRE. Thank you for your continued support and patience during this transition. We hope you are as excited for December as we are!

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District of Columbia

District of Columbia

Incentives/Policies for Renewables & Efficiency

Printable Version
Green Building Requirement   

Last DSIRE Review: 10/27/2014
Program Overview:
State: District of Columbia
Incentive Type: Energy Standards for Public Buildings
Eligible Efficiency Technologies: Comprehensive Measures/Whole Building
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Passive Solar Space Heat, Solar Water Heat, Solar Space Heat, Solar Thermal Electric, Photovoltaics, Wind, Biomass, Geothermal Heat Pumps, Daylighting
Applicable Sectors: Commercial, Schools, State Government
Requirement:New Public Buildings: New construction and major renovations must achieve LEED NC 2.2 or LEED CS 2.0 certification at the Silver level starting in Fiscal Year 2008.
New Public Schools: New construction and major renovations must meet LEED for Schools or equivalent certification level, or LEED for Schools Gold certification (if funding permits)
New Private, Non-Residential: New construction and major renovation of privately-owned non-residential buildings over 50,000 square feet must achieve the LEED NC, LEED CS, or LEED for Schools standard at the Certified level starting January 1, 2012. Aspirational goal of LEED for Schools Gold for educational facilities
Existing Buildings: buildings of 10,000+ sq. ft. must be benchmarked using the ENERGY STAR Benchmarking tool by October 22, 2009 and annually thereafter
Web Site:
Authority 1:
Date Enacted:
Date Effective:
D.C. Code ยง 6-1451.01 et seq
03/08/2007 (subsequently amended)

The District of Columbia City Council enacted B16-515 on December 5, 2006, establishing green building standards for public buildings and privately-owned commercial buildings of 50,000 square feet or more. While many jurisdictions have adopted green building standards for public buildings, DC is among the first to make such requirements for privately-owned buildings. Subsequent legislation (the Healthy Schools Act of 2010) expanded provisions of the original law related to public schools and privately-owned educational facilities.

The new standards are phased in over the course of several years with publicly-owned buildings being the first required to comply. All new construction and substantial improvements of non-residential District owned or District instrumentality owned projects which were initially funded in Fiscal Year 2008 or later must achieve LEED NC 2.2 or LEED CS 2.0 certification at the Silver level. Public Schools also are required to meet the requirements of LEED for Schools at the Certified level, or the equivalent under another green building rating system. To the extent that funding for construction or renovation is available public schools are required to meet LEED for Schools Gold level certification. And all public housing projects with 10,000 square feet of gross floor area or greater, will be required to fulfill or exceed the Green Communities 2006 standard or another equivalent standard.

Starting January 1, 2009, all new construction or major renovations to non-residential, private buildings of 50,000 square feet or more must submit a green building checklist outlining green features that will be pursued. New construction and major renovations to non-residential privately owned buildings started after January 1, 2012 will need to be verified as having fulfilled or exceeded the LEED NC, LEED CS, or LEED for Schools standard at the Certified level. For private "educational facilities", the law contains an aspirational goal of LEED for Schools Gold level certification. The District currently offers expedited permitting for LEED Gold certified projects as an incentive for private sector innovation.

In addition to the Green Building Requirements, in October 2008 D.C. enacted the Clean and Affordable Energy Act of 2008 (B17-492), which established energy benchmarking requirements for government and private buildings. Starting in the fall of 2009, all government buildings must be benchmarked using the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool. Annual benchmarking for private buildings will be phased in over four years, starting on January 1, 2010. Public buildings' benchmarking will be completed by the start date for private buildings. The results will be made available to the public on the Internet through the District of Columbia Department of the Environment (DDOE) website.

  Public Information Officer
District Department of the Environment
Energy Division
2000 14th Street, NW, 300 East
Washington, DC 20009
Phone: (202) 535-2600
Phone 2: (202) 724-4400
Fax: (202) 673-6725
Web Site:
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Disclaimer: The information presented on the DSIRE web site provides an unofficial overview of financial incentives and other policies. It does not constitute professional tax advice or other professional financial guidance, and it should not be used as the only source of information when making purchasing decisions, investment decisions or tax decisions, or when executing other binding agreements. Please refer to the individual contact provided below each summary to verify that a specific financial incentive or other policy applies to your project.

While the DSIRE staff strives to provide the best information possible, the DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. make no representations or warranties, either express or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability or suitability of the information. The DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. disclaim all liability of any kind arising out of your use or misuse of the information contained or referenced on DSIRE Web pages.

Copyright 2014 - 2015 North Carolina State University, under NREL Subcontract No. XEU-0-99515-01. Permission granted only for personal or educational use, or for use by or on behalf of the U.S. government. North Carolina State University prohibits the unauthorized display, reproduction, sale, and/or distribution of all or portions of the content of the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) without prior, written consent.