Four ways trade allies can help:
1. Get familiar with the Washington Clean Buildings Performance Standard.
In Washington state, buildings account for 30% of greenhouse gas emissions, and are considered the second-largest carbon polluter behind transportation. The state legislature enacted the Clean Buildings Performance Standard in 2019 to move towards a solution through energy efficiency. Along with state government and utilities, Trade Ally Network NW agrees that the fastest, cheapest way to help cut carbon emissions from commercial buildings is to reduce energy usage. The Clean Buildings Standard is structured to motivate commercial property owners to invest in more energy-efficient practices and building systems.
2. Talk with eligible customers to make sure they have all the information they need.
Owners whose buildings meet the criteria for the Clean Buildings Standard have received instructions about the requirements, how to comply, and deadlines. The law requires that all covered commercial buildings over 50,000 square feet participate, including non-residential, hotel, motel and dormitory buildings. Some building types are exempt from the requirements. Mandatory compliance deadlines are staggered by building size:
June 1, 2026 – over 220,000 sf
June 1, 2027 – 90,001- 220,000 sf
June 1, 2028 – 50,000- 90,000 sf
Failure to comply by the deadline may result in significant financial penalties.
For more information, you can direct your customers to this FAQ page.
3. Confirm that eligible customers are enrolled in the Early Adopter Incentive Program.
To motivate early participation among Washington property owners, the legislature set aside $75 million for an Early Adopter Incentive program. This is a one-time, performance-based incentive for buildings that comply early and meet or exceed their energy use intensity (EUI) target by 15 EUI. Building owners successful in meeting their goal are eligible for a one-time payment equal to .085 cents per gross square foot. This state incentive is in addition to any utility-based energy-efficiency incentives, increasing the financial benefits of early compliance. Working with your customer to upgrade their energy-consuming equipment could help them comply with the state requirements now and reap the reward of lower energy costs in the future.
4. As a contractor in Washington, be ready to help large commercial property owners with equipment upgrades.
The Clean Buildings Standard presents an opportunity for Washington’s trade allies to build business and goodwill. Some property owners may already have plans underway while others may not know how to get started. In addition to informing customers or prospects about the standards, incentive program and pathway to compliance, you can help with identifying energy-efficient opportunities and installing the qualifying equipment.
How can Trade Ally Network NW support you?
Talk to your local field specialist and local utility for more information and answers to your questions about the program.