WASHINGTON — The U.S. House of Representatives has passed S. 535, the Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015, sponsored by Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Jeanne Shaheen, D-New Hampshire. The two senators have been attempting to get an energy efficiency bill passed since 2011. This legislation is a no-cost, no-mandate bill that advances energy efficiency through reduced regulatory burden, increased transparency, and a focus on the federal government as a first mover to save taxpayer dollars on energy. The bill was previously passed by the Senate on March 27, 2015. It now goes to the president, who is expected to sign it into law.

Once signed into law, the bill will:

• Establish “Tenant Star,” a voluntary, market-driven approach to aligning the interests of commercial building owners and their tenants to reduce energy consumption.

• Exempt certain electric resistance water heaters used for utility demand response programs from pending U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) regulation.

• Require that federal buildings without Energy Star® labels benchmark and disclose their energy usage data, where practical.

Over the last two months a number of companies and industry associations, including ACCA, Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), ASHRAE, Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA), Mechanical Service Contractors of America (MSCA), National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), and National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), have come together and sent letters to the Senate and House strongly supporting and urging passage of the legislation.

Publication date: 4/20/2015

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