Yes. Due to COVID-19, some of our certification rules have been modified. Please adhere to the following guidance in determining when you may apply for certification:
1. All buildings that can receive an ENERGY STAR score should update two use details (Workers & Hours) to reflect changes in operations due to COVID-19.
For certification, and to receive an accurate score, update the following two use details (if applicable for your property type). Updates should be made using the “Update with new information” function. See this FAQ for more details.
- “Number of Workers on Main Shift” (or “Number of FTEs” for hospitals)
- “Weekly Operating Hours” for all time periods
2. Buildings may now apply for certification with Period Ending Dates (PEDs) up to April 30, 2020 (as long as it has been at least 11 months since the PED for their 2019 certification), regardless of the changes in operations which may have occurred in the building due to COVID-19.
- We are suspending the rule that requires you to submit verified applications within 120 days after the Period Ending Date (PED) for any applications with a PED of October 31, 2019, or later.
3. Buildings with operations that were unaffected by COVID-19 may apply using data which includes May 2020 and later. Everyone else should wait for further guidance.
If your building has a score of 75 or higher for a PED of May 2020 or later, the decision of whether to apply now or wait for further guidance from EPA depends on how your building operations were impacted by COVID-19.
- If your application includes only time when your building was operating normally, and your site visit was conducted during normal operations (or you can reuse the site visit from a 2019 certification), you can apply now and we will process your application.
- If your building operations were reduced in any significant way we strongly recommend that you wait to apply until EPA provides further guidance. We are continuing our analysis of the impact of COVID-19-related changes in building operations on scores, and will provide further guidance soon (hopefully by early September) on applying for certification with PEDs after April 2020. Possible changes in the waiting period since your last certification (the "11-month" rule) will depend on the outcome of that analysis, but rest assured that we are committed to allowing everyone the chance to apply for 2020 certification if they have a qualifying score. You will be given ample time to submit your application after this guidance is provided.
4. Some buildings have additional options for Site Visits
These flexibilities are designed to help you meet site visit requirements as we realize that it may be some time before buildings return to “normal” operations:
- If your building received a 2019 ENERGY STAR certification and a site visit was conducted for that application, you may reuse that site visit for your 2020 application as long as it was conducted on 1/1/2019 or later. NOTE: Enabling this flexibility requires programming changes to Portfolio Manager, so it will not be available until Friday August 7.
- If your building is not yet fully occupied, but any portion of the building is operating with close to the normal number of workers (or traditional occupants) in the space, you may conduct the site visit and take measurements in those spaces.
5. If you have a time-sensitive need to apply for ENERGY STAR certification, we will work with you on a case-by-case basis to assess your specific situation. We expect these cases to be very rare, with some examples being:
- Fannie Mae Green Rewards Applications
- Freddie Mac Green Advantage Loan Applications
- U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Leasing Bids
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP) Reduction Program Applications
- Certain Local Government “Beyond Benchmarking” Law Compliance
- IREM Certified Sustainable Property Applications
If you believe you have such a time-sensitive need, please contact us to discuss.