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Institute for Market Transformation

Promoting energy efficiency in buildings
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IMT in the District of Columbia

Based in the District of Columbia since its founding in 1996, IMT has long worked closely with the District's government to promote greener, more energy-efficient building practices in the city. We have worked on many fronts to advance sustainability in DC, and below is a roundup of these initiatives.


DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU)

The District of Columbia Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU) is designed to help District households, businesses, and institutions save energy and money through energy efficiency and renewable energy programs. The DCSEU is committed to community engagement, economic development, job creation, and environmental preservation.

The utility is a project of the Sustainable Energy Partnership under contract to the District Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE). The Sustainable Energy Partnership consists of nine organizations, including IMT. We lead market transformation efforts that include energy benchmarking, commercial tenant engagement, codes education, and financial program design. IMT's role in the DCSEU is spearheaded by Megan Houston, who focuses on multifamily finance and technical assistance.



DC Clean and Affordable Energy Act of 2008 (CAEA)

As a lead advisor to the bill's lead sponsor, DC Councilmember Mary Cheh, IMT provided technical assistance in crafting the CAEA in 2008. The CAEA—which launched the District to the forefront of sustainability and energy efficiency nationwide—was passed unanimously by the District of Columbia City Council on July 15, 2008, and signed into law by Mayor Adrian Fenty on Aug. 4, 2008.

Among other energy conservation and efficiency initiatives, the bill required for the first time in any U.S. jurisdiction that the energy performance of commercial buildings be annually rated (or benchmarked) and shared with the marketplace. IMT assisted the DC City Council in amending its Green Building Act to include this rating and transparency mandate for commercial properties.

CAEA also included a concept that IMT helped develop: the creation of a privately contracted, publicly funded sustainable energy program provider. That new entity, the DC Sustainable Energy Utility (SEU), is based on the country's most successful models for such utilities, such as Efficiency Vermont.

DC Green Building Act of 2006

In response to requests from DC City Council committees, IMT provided technical assistance in crafting the Green Building Act of 2006 and served on the Green Building Task Force, advising on policies pertaining to green buildings and energy efficiency.

The 2006 Green Building Act, among other things, extended the city's LEED requirement for new buildings beyond government structures to include all private buildings by 2012.


Building codes

The 2008 District of Columbia Construction Codes, which IMT helped write, was published on Dec. 26, 2008. With this work, the District adopted the  30% Solution and ASHRAE 90.1 2007 as amendments to the International Energy Conservation Codes of 2006 (IECC 200. DC's new building codes mandate greener practices in several key areas, including water efficiency, energy conservation, and cool roofs.

Read more about the District's building energy codes on our District of Columbia Codes page.