Campus district energy decarbonization, led by Rep. Alex Ramel as HB 1390, encourages campuses – multiple nearby buildings owned by a single entity – to develop decarbonization plans. More specifically, Washington State-owned campuses must develop these plans while non-state-owned campus may develop these plans.
Why plan? Campuses present challenges for meeting compliance with the 2019 Washington Clean Buildings Standard’s energy efficiency targets, which focuses on stand-alone large-scale buildings. The new 2023 law provides a more holistic path for campuses to meet the Clean Buildings Standard – a new carrot to an existing stick – if they are:
- Implementing decarbonization plans approved by the Department of Commerce
- Meeting the Clean Buildings Standard’s benchmarking, energy management, and operations and maintenance planning requirements
The new law requires Washington State-owned campuses – including state-owned hospitals – to develop draft decarbonization plans by June 2024, with final versions approved by the Department of Commerce by June 2025 and every five years thereafter. While not required, non-state-owned campuses now have the flexibility to follow the same path to achieve their own Clean Buildings Standard compliance.
What’s in it for hospital campuses? The Clean Buildings Standard sets ambitious energy efficiency challenges for individual large-scale buildings. This streamlined path considers campuses holistically, allowing facilities managers to look for the most timely and cost-effective energy upgrades across the portfolio instead of within every building.
HB 1777: Energy services, equipment performance contracting for public buildings
Rising costs mean hospitals and health care facilities must constantly judge, juggle and defer maintenance, and the list keeps growing as further energy codes and measures demand updates.
Led by Rep. Beth Doglio, HB 1777 expands upon nearly 40 years of Washington’s successful Energy Services Performance Contracting program. This new law authorizes public health districts and public health care facilities (and state agencies, school districts, public universities and municipalities) to negotiate performance-based contracts for energy services and – now – equipment.
The new “energy as a service” program creates a performance-based contract in which a public agency (including a public hospital or public health district) makes service payments to a third party or entity for energy services. This may include provision of energy equipment owned and operated by a third party. The program includes guidance from the Department of Enterprise Services and potentially even Washington’s Certificate of Participation financing.
Allowing health facilities – whether individual buildings or health districts across their portfolios – to align and outsource their energy upgrades means faster, more affordable projects delivered with sustained performance.
UMC was honored legislators sought their expertise over the past year to craft these new opportunities. Bringing them to the literal table as the governor signed these bills into law has created new opportunities for the built environment. They hope these serve WSHA well.
Contact UMC Director of Policy & Partnerships Bonnie Frye Hemphill for information on how to put to work campus decarbonization planning or performance contracting for your ‘energy as a service’ projects.
UMC is a 103-year-old Washington-based mechanical contractor and energy services company. Navigating the complexity of the built environment, creating spaces that make people more confident, comfortable and productive. UMC is a Washington Hospital Services Industry Partner. The Industry Partner program connects hospitals with product and service organizations to create efficiencies, lower costs and deliver exceptional health care. For more information about UMC or the WHS Industry Partner Program, contact Cynthia Hay at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (206) 216-2526. (Cynthia Hay)