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  • Writer's pictureTom Petersen

The Office of Sustainability Launches a New Program for Philadelphia

Updated: Aug 29, 2023

Have you heard about Philadelphia’s Building Energy Performance Program (BEPP)? If you occupy a non-residential — commercial or industrial — building in the City with at least 50,000 square feet of indoor floor space, this new policy pertains to you. Created by the Office of Sustainability, the intent is to improve efficiencies in energy and water usage.

What if you could help save 200,000 metric tons of carbon pollution — the equivalent of taking 40,000 cars off of Philadelphia’s streets? Together, we can make this scenario a reality. On average, building tune-ups result in 10-15% annual energy savings per building. This equates to less environmental impact and bottom-line monetary savings for you!

Building tune-ups are performed on systems or subsystems of a building and focus on improving efficiencies in the building envelope, HVAC systems, conveying systems, domestic hot water systems, and electrical lighting systems. Tune-ups consist of initial inspections and then the implementation of the recommended corrective actions. The inspection component must be supervised by a qualified specialist who will provide a certified report listing their findings and recommendations. Corrective action must then be taken to resolve all adjustments and minor repairs. Finally, a tune-up report must be signed by the specialist and submitted to Philadelphia’s Office of Sustainability.

Facility owners and operators have three options for compliance with this policy:

  1. Conduct a building tune-up, or

  2. Certify high performance, or

  3. Receive an exemption

Do note that if a tune-up (a) will be performed, building owners must hire approved specialists for the process, covering the assessment through the report sign-off phase. The Professional Engineer (PE) or Certified Energy Manager (CEM) conducting the tune-up must have seven years of related education and experience and be cleared by the City’s Office of Sustainability.

Alternatives to a tune-up being conducted are (b) certifying high performance, which grants you an exemption from the tune-up requirement, or (c) receiving an exemption.

Exemptions are granted in certain circumstances, including:

  1. An ENERGY STAR Score of 75+ achieved within a year of the scheduled tune-up,

  2. Meeting one of the six special conditions detailed on the policy website,

  3. Having demolition scheduled within one year for the building, or

  4. Active optimization efforts, including monitoring and commissioning, are already in place.

If you do not meet one of these exemptions, make sure you stay on top of the updated timeline.

  • April 4, 2022, is the deadline for certifying high performance, requesting an alternative exemption, and making extension requests for buildings over 100,000 sq. ft.

  • September 30, 2022, will be the tune-up report deadline for buildings over 100,000 sq. ft. and tune-up specialists submitting 2022 reports must be certified by this date.

The City has put together supporting resources to help building owners and managers understand these new regulations and how to comply.

Still have questions about the Building Energy Performance Program? Want to be connected to a qualified tune-up specialist? Want to apply for an exemption? EES is here to help! You can count on our consulting team of professional engineers, environmental scientists, and regulatory specialists to ensure your facility’s compliance. We provide environmental consulting to manufacturers, hospitals, universities, and colleges — and we’re ready to put our experience to work for YOU.

Please call at 215-704-1506 or email



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