Trade Ally Network Northwest

Navigating Washington State’s Clean Buildings Performance Standard

April 4, 2024 | Trade Ally Network NW

Compliance for Commercial Building Owners

Washington State is ushering in a new era of energy efficiency with its Clean Buildings Performance Standard (CBPS), which requires compliance and reporting for commercial buildings over 50,000 square feet. The compliance reporting schedule is divided into three categories, and the first deadline is limited to commercial buildings over 220,000 square feet. Set for June 1, 2026, this mandatory compliance deadline marks a pivotal moment for business owners of large buildings who may soon face significant penalties for non-compliance.

The time for sales action is now

“Every sale has five basic obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, no trust.”

Zig Ziglar, motivational teacher and celebrated sales trainer

The CBPS deadline effectively addresses two of these hurdles – the need and the urgency to comply. With potential financial penalties, the urgency to meet compliance becomes critical, reshaping the decision-making process for building owners.

Because the largest buildings must report a year’s worth of energy data to the state by June 1, 2026, equipment upgrades should be in place by June 1, 2025 to maximize impact on that data. That’s just a short 14 months from now! The impending deadline can be used to help encourage building owners into action, making the “do nothing” option no longer the most cost-effective choice.

To ease the financial burden of upgrades, Bonneville Power Administration and local utilities offer incentives, particularly for technologies such as TLEDs, networked lighting controls, and energy-efficient air-source and ductless heat pumps. These incentives alleviate the “no money” obstacle and align with the urgency created by the compliance deadline.

The synergy between today’s incentive offerings and the future implication of non-compliance is a powerful combination to overcome the “no desire” barrier. Commercial building owners are compelled to invest in energy efficiency upgrades not only to save money in the present but also to avoid penalties and legal repercussions in the future.

Trust, the final obstacle, is where trade allies play a critical role. Established relationships and a deep understanding of customer needs, coupled with access to the latest trends in energy-efficient technologies and associated utility incentives, position those working in the trades as trusted advisors. Clients rely on your expertise to deliver solutions that save money today and ensure compliance with future standards.

Catalyst for change

To identify which buildings fall under the CBPS compliance mandate, the Washington State Department of Commerce provides a dashboard categorizing qualifying commercial buildings by county. Regular updates and an expansion of the program – including buildings between 20,000 and 50,000 square feet – reinforce the state’s commitment to advancing energy efficiency.

Washington State’s Clean Buildings Performance Standard is a catalyst for change in the commercial building landscape. You have an opportunity to grow your business by embracing the change and offering your customers cost-effective solutions to their energy management needs.


Category: Technology