On April 19, 2022, the Montgomery County Council unanimously passed Bill 16-21- Environmental Sustainability- Building Energy Use Benchmarking and Performance Standards. The Department of Environmental Protection has until December 2023 to issue the regulations that will govern building energy performance standards.
This bill comes on the heels of the State legislature passing Senate Bill 528, Climate Solutions Bill – which addresses similar issues at the state level. The original state bill included language that would have exempted buildings from the State law if their local county enacted similar legislation, i.e. local county regulations would trump the state regulations. However, this language was stricken from the final state law and there is a question of whether the intent of the General Assembly was to preempt any local legislation by this language change.
The Office of the County Attorney (OCA) believes that this was not a clear preemption and that this does not impact the County’s ability to proceed with its own benchmarking and performance standard measures.
AOBA staff continues to monitor the State and County’s development of BEPS regulations and is working County officials to ensure industry representation on the regulation advisory taskforce.