DOB News | Sustainability Is Imperative

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January 2024 Edition

A Message From The Director

Brian Hanlon

Dear Customers,

Earlier this month, we delivered testimony to the Council of the District of Columbia. Strategic Enforcement Administrator, Keith Parsons, testified and answered questions regarding DOB's Office of Residential Inspection. We are excited about the innovations and advancements that will help the District's residents live safer and happier lives.

In other news, I also wanted to continue our series on Building for Tomorrow Today by discussing solar panels and our collaboration with DOEE. Sustainability is a vital consideration for our agency and we will continue to share information regarding ways we can work towards a carbon-neutral DC, as per the Clean Energy DC Plan.

We also want to again mention the upcoming Healthy Homes Fair on April 6, 2024 at the DC Armory. This will be an excellent opportunity to join our public, nonprofit, and private partners to learn more about the dynamic and sustainable technological advancements and opportunities that exist to make our homes more sustainable. Read on for a deeper description of all the exciting opportunities available at the fair.

UItimately, we know that our work is only possible with your trust, and we continue to work each and every day to meet that responsibility.


Director Hanlon Signature

Brian J. Hanlon, AIA LEED AP®

ICYMI: DOB Strategic Enforcement Administrator Keith Parsons Testifies Before Council

Keith Parsons

Strategic Enforcement Administrator Keith Parsons spoke before the Council regarding DOB's Office of Residential Inspection

Also on January 18, 2024, DOB's Strategic Enforcement Administrator Keith Parsons provided testimony to the Council of the District of Columbia's Committee of the Whole regarding the Office of Residential Inspection. Keith provided an overview on policies and procedures regarding residential property maintenance inspections, hiring and training of inspectors, and other relevant matters. 

Keith was also able to provide insight to Council on exciting innovations DOB is engaging in regarding their intake procedures, position classification, and enforcement efforts. 

To view the recording of the testimony and Q and A session, visit the below link:

Council Hearing

Looking ahead, our next appearance before Council will be for DOB's FY23-24 Public Oversight Hearing, which will take place Thursday, February 22, 2024. 

Building For Tomorrow Today | Solar Panels

Building for Tomorrow Today Graphic

Building For Tomorrow Today is a recurring section in our newsletter where DOB seeks to share about some of the most exciting sustainable building practices that are helping cities across the world reduce their carbon footprint and help secure a safer and cleaner tomorrow. 

Solar Panels

Solar Panels

Solar panel technology harnesses energy from the sun to generate electricity, providing a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative to traditional power sources. Opting for solar panels can significantly reduce one's carbon footprint, since they produce clean energy without emitting harmful greenhouse gasses. This is vital given the Clean Energy DC Plan, which seeks to dramatically reduce carbon emissions in the coming years.

This renewable energy source contributes to mitigating climate change and promotes a shift towards sustainability. Recent advancements in solar panel technology have focused on enhancing efficiency, durability, and affordability. Innovations such as thin-film solar cells and perovskite solar cells have also shown promise in improving energy conversion rates and lowering manufacturing costs. These developments, along with the continued increase in output and efficiency of traditional solar panels, make solar power an increasingly accessible option for those seeking clean energy options. Indeed, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) analysis suggests that total residential solar photovoltaic installation costs have decreased by as much as 40% over the last decade.

DOB partners with the Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE) by issuing solar permits for District customers who would like to enjoy the benefits of solar panels for their properties. With a target of ten business days or less, DOB is proud to have some of the fastest solar permit review times in the nation. This is a testament to the Mayor's commitment to invest in clean energy.

Beyond the environmental benefits of clean energy, there are a great deal of monetary benefits that can come from going solar in the District, including:

  • 30% federal tax credit: entitles owners of solar panels to a tax credit of 30% of the amount spent installing them, 
  • Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs): entitles owners of solar panels to earn an additional $400+ (as of January 2024) for every 1000KwH of energy generated by their solar panels
  • Net metering: allows owners of solar panels to further reduce their electricity usage, and therefore their Pepco bill, by sending excess generation not used by their own home back to the Pepco grid 

These incentives can make it possible for purchasers of solar photovoltaic systems to recoup their initial investment in as little as four to five years and also enable solar installers and developers to offer low- or no-cost third-party ownership arrangements (e.g., power purchase agreements). DOEE has a wealth of resources on their website on how to go solar.

Join Us At The Healthy Homes Fair On April 6, 2024 At The DC Armory

HHF Updated

DOB is excited to introduce you to the technologies, products, and services that will future-proof our buildings, increase the health of our communities, and help meet the District’s climate goals. With almost $60 million of rebates at point of sale and unprecedented tax credits made available by the federal government, DOB wants our customers to know how to take advantage of these opportunities to increase the value and resilience of their buildings.  With this in mind, we are excited to bring you the Healthy Homes Fair, a free, full-day expo and interactive experience for homeowners, renters, home renovation professionals, and career seekers to learn how to upgrade buildings to improve health, increase comfort, and reduce emissions from the homes of the DC metro area.

RSVP here to attend the Healthy Homes Fair on Saturday, April 6 at the DC Armory, where you will be able to explore interactive demonstrations and hands-on training by more than 50 exhibitors. State-of-the-art technologies and products to be showcased include air heat pumps, heat pump water heaters, induction cooktops, heat pump dryers, solar and geothermal applications, battery storage, electric vehicle chargers, electric mobility, insulation, landscaping tools, and much more. Service providers with a proven track record of helping homeowners and renters reduce emissions from homes will be available to answer your questions on electric panel upgrades, solar installations, net zero energy construction, renewable energy credits, rebates at point of sales, tax credits, energy audits, measurements of emissions inside your homes, and so much more.

This is also an excellent opportunity for professionals to discover new technologies, network and enhance their skills, and for career seekers to learn about the jobs of the future, connecting with training, certifications, and future employers.

Watch this space for a full program of activities for all ages and budgets, including induction cooking demonstrations, an appliance “petting zoo,” caulking workshops, and a chance to win cutting-edge appliances.

The fair is being organized by Electrify DC, a District nonprofit working to make it easier, faster and more affordable to decarbonize the District's homes. It is presented in partnership with DOEE, DOB, and several neighboring jurisdictions. To learn more, sponsor or exhibit, visit or email

DOB Celebrates Retirement of Housing Rehabilitation Specialist Leon Weston After 36 Years Of Service To The District

Leon Weston

DOB Director Brian Hanlon, Leon Weston, and Housing Rehabilitation Program Manager Don Sullivan pose together

Earlier this month, DOB celebrated the retirement of Leon Weston, who served DCRA, our predecessor agency, and DOB with distinction as a Housing Rehabilitation Specialist. Mr. Weston served in District government for 36 years, and we are grateful for his contribution. He was recognized with a plaque from DOB, in addition to a commendation from Mayor Bowser.

It is public servants like Leon that help carry the District to brighter and better heights. We are grateful to him for going above and beyond to serve our customers. Please join us in celebrating Leon for his extended commitment to our mission, and in wishing him a happy retirement.

Keep Up With DOB's Data On Our Public Dashboard

Public Dashboard

One of DOB's goals is to be a leader in data transparency for not just District government, but across the nation. That is why we have continued to invest in our dashboard to make our data accessible to our internal and external stakeholders. 

Beyond simply tracking our Key Performance Indicator (KPI) data, our goal with the dashboard has been to provide a resource that empowers people with information. We want to connect renters with information about landlord property violations, show how we are working to bring vacant properties back into productive use, and provide a place for people to track the violation and enforcement process from start to finish by address.

Some key dashboard features that we have introduced include:

  • Economic Insights: the DOB Index provides insight into the economic health of the District through a lens of construction activity.
  • Vacant Properties: our search features allow users to filter by ward, neighborhood, Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC), and Police Service Areas.
  • Violations and Abatement: our dynamic search tool allows users to search multiple owners and by address with auto-complete features to amplify search capabilities.
  • Permit Operations: the Building Permits Issued view allows filtered views by fiscal year, quarter, month, and type/sub-type. The Average Days for Construction Permits view allows customers to see how long it takes to get a construction permit.
  • Inspections: this section shows inspections by type, quarter, and ward.

We are always looking for ways to make our data more tangible and accessible, so be on the lookout for new enhancements in the coming months.

DOB Public Dashboard

Contacting Our Agency

Contact DOB via email at, through our online inquiry form or during normal business hours using the live chat available on You can also reach us by phone at 202.671.3500, and we will get back to you in three business days or less.