Building Energy Performance Standards (BEPS)
In 2020, the city of St. Louis passed a building energy performance standard ordinance requiring that all municipal, institutional, commercial and multifamily buildings equal to or greater than 50,000 square feet must consume energy at or below a standard set by the city. These standards are currently law and carry consequences for non-compliance. They apply to existing buildings as well as new construction.
The Building Energy Performance Standards (BEPS) were set using local St. Louis building data. The City started with the energy consumption data that had been submitted through the Benchmarking process for years 2017 and 2018. This data was complied and organized by building type as set by Energy Star. BEPS targets were established such that 65% of buildings will need to improve energy performance (i.e., at or below the 35th percentile). This target is required by ordinance.
What are the standards?
When are they in effect?
The ordinance went into effect in 2021 and the standards were set that year by the Building Energy Improvement Board. Property owners have until 2025 to be in compliance with the standards. Affordable Housing and houses of worship have until 2027. Compliance will be based on the previous year's energy consumption.
There are four paths to compliance with the Building
Performance: The building’s site Energy Use Intensity (EUI) for the property is equal to or lower than the EUI standard for its property type. Properties that meet the EUI standard for their property type and submit required verification are compliant for that compliance cycle. Performance standards by property type can be found here.
Early Adopters: To incentivize owners to invest in deeper energy retrofits, the City offers compliance for multiple cycles through the Early Adopter pathways.
If at the conclusion of cycle 1, a property’s EUI is at or below the standard for its property type, AND the EUI of the property was reduced by 20% or greater compared to its 2018 Property Baseline, then the property will be in compliance for cycles 1 and 2. The property must achieve both targets—the property type EUI standard and a 20% reduction in the property’s EUI from its 2018 Property Baseline—in order to be in compliance for two consecutive cycles.
If at the conclusion of cycle 1, the property’s EUI is at or below the BEPS for its property type, AND the EUI of the property was reduced by 50% or greater compared to the 2018 Property Baseline, then the property will be in compliance for cycles 1, 2, and 3. The property must achieve both targets—the property type EUI standard and a 50% reduction in the property’s EUI from its 2018 Property Baseline—in order to be in compliance for three consecutive cycles.
Narrow the Gap Alternative Compliance Path: For each cycle, a property can comply by reducing its EUI to no higher than the midpoint between its 2018 Property Baseline EUI performance and the EUI standard for its property type and submitting required documentation. This compliance option will only be available for Compliance Cycles 1 and 2.
Custom Alternative Compliance Path: If a property has any unique characteristics or situations that prevent it, within reason, from meeting any other compliance pathways, the owner can apply for a Custom Alternative Compliance Path. A completed Alternative Compliance Path template application and technical report (meeting the requirements for an ASHRAE Standard 211 Level 2 Energy Audit) is required. Compliance is achieved through application approval by the Building Division, which becomes a binding agreement between the City and owner.
Buildings and owners that fail to comply will face violations in the forms of fines and/or loss of occupancy permits for future tenants.
Want to know if your building is in compliance? Contact us today!