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Incentives/Policies for Energy Efficiency

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Green Building and Energy Reduction Standards for State Agencies   

Last DSIRE Review: 10/17/2014
Program Overview:
State: Washington
Incentive Type: Energy Standards for Public Buildings
Eligible Efficiency Technologies: Comprehensive Measures/Whole Building, Specific technologies not identified
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Passive Solar Space Heat, Solar Water Heat, Solar Space Heat, Photovoltaics, Wind, Biomass, Geothermal Heat Pumps, CHP/Cogeneration, Bio-gas, Daylighting, Small Hydroelectric
Applicable Sectors: State Government
Goal:All state agencies, institutions of higher education, public schools, and commissions create a 10% reduction in energy purchases from fiscal year 2003 levels by September 2009.
Zero fossil-fuel greenhouse gas emission homes and buildings by 2031.
Requirement:State construction projects must meet the LEED “Silver” Standard, or other green building standards (vary by project type and size).
Web Site:
Authority 1:
Date Enacted:
WA Executive Order 05-01
Authority 2:
Date Effective:
RCW § 39.35D.010 et seq.

On January 5, 2005, Washington’s governor signed Executive Order 05-01, directing state agencies to adopt green building practices in the construction of all new buildings and in major (over 60%) renovation of existing buildings. Beginning in 2005, building projects over 25,000 square feet must meet the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) “Silver” Standard, or be certified by a credible third party. The Department of General Administration (GA), now part of the Department of Enterprise Services (DES), was required to develop and implement a review process to make sure that these standards are applied in building projects of 5,000 to 25,000 square feet entering the pre-design or design phase when such projects apply for certification. DES ensures the integration of green building and design practices into all new construction and renovation projects, and provides reimbursable training and support to affected project managers.

Executive Order 05-01 set the goal that - by September 2009 - state agencies must use all practicable and cost-effective means available, including energy efficiency and renewable energy measures, to reduce energy purchases by 10% from fiscal year 2003 levels. Procedures for monitoring, documentation, and reporting of the progress of these efforts are outlined in the order. In addition to energy efficiency in state buildings, this order also set requirements for fuel efficiency in state vehicle fleets and life-cycle impacts of paper use in state agencies. Executive Order 07-02 reaffirmed these goals.

Effective July 2005, SB 5509 set guidelines for major facility projects for buildings over 5,000 square feet. This law (RCW39.35D) requires all state agencies, institutions of higher education and other entities receiving state funding to meet at least the LEED “Silver” Standard in design, construction, and maintenance, to the extent appropriate.

Public K-12 school construction projects receiving state assistance must be built to the Washington Sustainable Schools Protocol (WSSP), or to LEED silver. The WSSP requires a 10% reduction in energy use beyond what is required by the Washington State Energy Code. The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction will enforce these guidelines and provide relevant information to school districts. The GA will develop and issue guidelines for state agencies. The Department of Commerce (formerly the Department of Community, Trade, and Economic Development) adopted sustainable building standards in July 2008, and set a minimum level of sustainable performance for projects applying to the Housing Trust Fund (HTF). As part of this, Commerce developed The Evergreen Sustainable Development Standard.

In 2009, SB 5854 required the Department of Commerce to conduct a study on tax incentives to encourage green building in commercial, residential, and public buildings. It also divided the state into two climatic zones, set various insulation and efficiency standards for residential buildings, and required more inclusive data collection methods from utilities. Finally, it set the goal for zero fossil-fuel greenhouse gas emission homes and buildings by 2031.

  Stu Simpson
Washington Department of General Administration
210 - 11th Avenue SW
P.O. Box 41000
Olympia, WA 98504-1012
Phone: (360) 902-7199
Web Site:
  Patricia Jatczak
Washington Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction
Old Capitol Building 600 Washington St. S.E.
P.O. Box 47200
Olympia, WA 98504-7200
Phone: (360) 725-4973
Phone 2: (360) 725-6000
Web Site:
  Greg Black
Washington Department of Commerce
Housing Trust Fund
128 10th Avenue SW
P.O. Box 42525
Olympia, WA 98504-2525
Phone: (360) 725-2916
Phone 2: (360) 725-4000
Fax: (360) 586-5880
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.