District of Columbia Solar Rebates And Incentives

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Building Energy Code for the District of Columbia

NOTE: Much of the information presented in this summary is drawn from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Building Energy Codes Program and the Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP). For more detailed information about building energy codes, visit the DOE and BCAP websites.

The DC Energy Conservation Code is updated regularly as national codes are revised or if a change is proposed by local code enforcement officials, industry, design professionals, or other interested parties. Proposals are initiated by the District of Columbia Building Code Advisory Committee.

On December 16, 2011 District of Columbia’s Construction Codes Coordinating Board (CCCB) voted to

Green Building Requirement

The District of Columbia City Council enacted B16-515 on December 5, 2006, establishing green building standards for public buildings and privately-owned commercial buildings of 50,000 square feet or more. While many jurisdictions have adopted green building standards for public buildings, DC is among the first to make such requirements for privately-owned buildings. Subsequent legislation (the Healthy Schools Act of 2010) expanded provisions of the original law related to public schools and privately-owned educational facilities.

The new standards are phased in over the course of several years with publicly-owned buildings being the first required to comply. All new construction and substantial

Interconnection Standards

In July 2006 the District of Columbia Public Service Commission (PSC) initiated a formal inquiry into the development of uniform interconnection procedures for on-site distributed generation systems. The PSC subsequently concluded that an interconnection standard was feasible and continued with the rule making process, culminating with the adoption of final interconnection regulations in February 2009 (DC PSC Order No. 15182). The rules apply to all distributed generation systems of 10 megawatts (MW) or smaller that are operated in parallel with the electric distribution system and are not subject to the interconnection requirements of the PJM Interconnection.

The interconnection rules set

Net Metering

NOTE: As of November 2018, the DC Public Service Commission is engaged in a rulemaking to consider adding definitions for customer generator, battery, back up generation, energy storage, microgrid, and smart inverter into its interconnection and net metering rules. These proposed definitions will have a significant impact on the eligibility of these systems to participate in net metering. 

Eligibility:

In the District of Columbia (DC), net metering is currently available to residential and commercial customer-generators with systems powered by renewable-energy sources, combined heat and power (CHP), fuel cells and microturbines, with a maximum capacity of 1 megawatt (MW). The term

Property Assessed Clean Energy Financing

Note: In 2010, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which has authority over mortgage underwriters Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, directed these enterprises against purchasing mortgages of homes with a PACE lien due to its senior status above a mortgage. Most residential PACE activity subsided following this directive; however, some residential PACE programs are now operating with loan loss reserve funds, appropriate disclosures, or other protections meant to address FHFA's concerns. Commercial PACE programs were not directly affected by FHFA’s actions, as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac do not underwrite commercial mortgages. Visit PACENow for more information about PACE financing

Renewable Portfolio Standard

NOTE: On July 25, 2016, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser approved the Renewable Portfolio Standard Expansion Amendment Act to increase its RPS to 50% by 2032 and make other changes. The Act B21-0650 became effective starting October 8, 2016 after the 30 day period of Congressional Review. 

History:

In January 2005, the District of Columbia Council enacted a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) that applies to all retail electricity sales in the District. The RPS has been subsequently amended several times since. In October 2008 the RPS was amended by the Clean and Affordable Energy Act (CAEA) of 2008 which increased the percentage

Solar Energy System and Cogeneration System Personal Property Tax Credit

The District of Columbia Council created a personal property tax exemption for solar energy systems and cogeneration systems within the District by enacting B19-0749 in December of 2012. Systems using exclusively solar energy as defined in § 34-1431(14)) are exempt from personal property tax; provided, that, notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Chief Financial Officer shall transfer $120,000 from the certified revenues deposited in the Renewable Energy Development Fund established by § 34-1436 to the unrestricted fund balance of the General Fund of the District of Columbia and shall recognize the $120,000 as local funds revenue in fiscal year 2013 and

Solar Renewable Energy Credits

 In January 2005, the District of Columbia (D.C.) Council enacted a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) with a solar carve-out that applies to all retail electricity sales in the District. In October 2008 the RPS was amended by the Clean and Affordable Energy Act (CAEA) of 2008. Significantly, this legislation increased the percentage and number of benchmarks that utilities must meet, included solar water heating as an eligible technology, increased the alternative compliance payment and amended reporting requirements. The solar requirements began in 2007 at 0.005% of retail electricity sales and increase annually towards an ultimate target of 2.50% solar by

Sustainable Energy Trust Fund

The District of Columbia's Retail Electric Competition and Consumer Protection Act of 1999 required the DC Public Service Commission (PSC) to establish a public benefits fund to provide energy assistance to low-income residents, and to support energy-efficiency programs and renewable-energy programs. This fund, known as the Reliable Energy Trust Fund (RETF), took effect in 2001. In October 2008, the District of Columbia enacted the Clean and Affordable Energy Act (CAEA), which effectively eliminated the RETF and replaced it with the Sustainable Energy Trust Fund (SETF). This program will be administered by a third-party “Sustainable Energy Utility” (SEU) which will be

Sustainable Energy Utility - D.C. Home Performance

The District of Columbia Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU) currently offers incentives on air sealing and insulation as part of Home Performance with ENERGY STAR. The DCSEU provides up to $450 in incentives for homeowners who successfully complete qualifying home energy upgrades. Qualifying upgrades require working with a participating contractor, completing a minimum of $600 work of approved improvements.

Personal Home Energy Coaches are available to help you review your home energy audit and provide guidance on what improvements will help you achieve the most energy savings.

More information on program requirements can be found on the program website http://dcseu.com/for-my-home/audits-air-sealing-insulation/air-sealing-insulation.

Sustainable Energy Utility - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

The District of Columbia Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU) offers a variety of rebates to District residents to install energy- efficient equipment in their homes. Incentives are available for a variety of equipment including refrigerators, dehumidifiers, clothes washers, boilers, water heaters, smart thermostats, furnaces, and heat pumps. Visit the program website for more information.