Blog

 Subscribe via RSS

ASHRAE Government Affairs Update, 6/19/2015

Federal Activities

  • Markup of U.S. House Comprehensive “Architecture of Abundance” Energy Bill Delayed Until After July 4th Recess
  • Legislation Renewing Nation’s K-12 Education Law Could Soon Be Debated on Senate Floor – Several STEM Amendments Could Be Offered
  • DOE Issues Final Determination on 2015 IECC
  • DOE Extends Comment Period for Test Procedures for Residential Furnaces and Boilers
  • 2015 High Performance Building Week Succeeds in Educating Policymakers!

GGAC Regional and Chapter Activities

  • ASHRAE Annual Meeting in Atlanta June 27-July 1
  • Region IX RVC Honored with Award
  • Legislatures Adjourn with Unfinished Business
  • Montgomery County, Maryland has first Benchmarked Buildings

Federal Activities

For additional information on federal issues, please contact Mark Ames, ASHRAE’s Senior Manager of Federal Government Affairs, at [email protected].

Markup of U.S. House Comprehensive “Architecture of Abundance” Energy Bill Delayed Until After July 4th Recess

The U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee had tentatively planned to hold a markup of Chairman Fred Upton’s (R-MI-6) draft comprehensive energy bill this week, however ongoing negotiations and tight schedules necessitated that the markup be postponed until after Congress returns from its July 4th recess.

The draft bill is built upon Upton’s “Architecture of Abundance”, which addresses a panoply of energy issues, including reliability, security, infrastructure, the workforce, and energy efficiency.

Full information on the Architecture of Abundance and the draft legislation being considered is available at http://energycommerce.house.gov/yes2energy.

 

Legislation Renewing Nation’s K-12 Education Law Could Soon Be Debated on Senate Floor – Several STEM Amendments Could Be Offered

The reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, one of the nation’s central K-12 education laws, could be on the Senate floor in the coming days and weeks. Among the many amendments that may be offered are those that would: Support science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education afterschool; improve the federal government’s coordination of STEM education activities; support the creation and enhancement of STEM-focused specialty schools; help increase diversity in STEM education; and improve environmental literacy in STEM instruction.

Additional information is available at http://www.help.senate.gov/.

 

DOE Issues Final Determination on 2015 IECC

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has determined that the 2015 edition of the IECC would improve energy efficiency in buildings subject to the code compared to the 2012 edition. DOE analysis indicates that buildings meeting the 2015 IECC (as compared with buildings meeting the 2012 IECC) would result in national source energy savings of approximately 0.87 percent, site energy savings of approximately 0.98 percent, and energy cost savings of approximately 0.73 percent of residential building energy consumption, as regulated by the IECC. Upon publication of this affirmative determination, each state is required by statute to certify that it has reviewed the provisions of its residential building code regarding energy efficiency, and made a determination as to whether to update its code to meet or exceed the 2015 IECC. Additionally, this notice provides guidance to states on these processes and associated certifications.

The full notice is available at https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/06/11/2015-14297/determination-regarding-energy-efficiency-improvements-in-the-2015-international-energy-conservation.

 

DOE Extends Comment Period for Test Procedures for Residential Furnaces and Boilers

DOE has reopened and extended its comment period until July 10, 2015 for a rulemaking on test procedures for residential furnaces and boilers. ASHRAE Standard 103 Methods of Testing for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency of Residential Central Furnaces and Boilers is discussed extensively in this rulemaking.

The notice on the extension of the comment period is available at https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/06/02/2015-13356/energy-conservation-program-for-consumer-products-test-procedures-for-residential-furnaces-and. The original rulemaking in which Standard 103 is referenced can be found at https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/03/11/2015-03619/energy-conservation-program-for-consumer-products-test-procedures-for-residential-furnaces-and.

 

2015 High Performance Building Week Succeeds in Educating Policymakers!

Last week, a number of events were held in Washington, DC to educate Members of Congress and their staff, federal agency representatives, stakeholders, and the general public on the impact and importance of high-performance buildings as part of High Performance Building Week. The Week is an annual celebration of high-performing buildings organized by the High Performance Building Congressional Caucus Coalition (HPBCCC).

Founded by ASHRAE, the HPBCCC is a private sector group of over 200 building industry stakeholders that provide guidance and support to the High Performance Buildings Caucus of the U.S. Congress. This year, the Coalition announced several new endeavors during the Week, including the HPBCCC Policy Committee’s 2015 Policy Priorities, which serve as the framework for government affairs and educational efforts between the Coalition and Congress.

To view the schedule of events and related documents, including the Policy Priorities, please visit http://www.hpbccc.org/hpb2015week.php.

 

GGAC Regional and Chapter Activities

For additional information on state, local, and international government affairs, please contact Jim Scarborough, ASHRAE’s Manager of Grassroots Government Affairs, at [email protected].

ASHRAE Annual Meeting in Atlanta June 27-July 1

ASHRAE’s 2015 Annual Meeting will be held in Atlanta, Georgia from Saturday, June 27 to Wednesday, July 1. In addition to the Committee meetings, seminars, conference papers and Technical Committees, ASHRAE is fortunate to have this year Gene Kranz as the Keynote Speaker on Saturday. Kranz is the legendary NASA Flight Control Director who led the effort to save Apollo 13 in 1970. 

To access registration and conference information, go to https://www.ashrae.org/membership--conferences/conferences/2015-ashrae-annual-conference

 

Region IX RVC Honored with Award

ASHRAE Rocky Mountain Chapter recently honored Brian Lynch, GGAC Regional Vice Chair, with the Vic Johnson Distinguished Service Award. The award ceremony took place during the May Chapter meeting held on Wednesday evening May 6, 2015. This award is presented to an individual who has given freely of their time, treasure and talent long after their involvement on the Rocky Mountain Chapter board or as a committee chair. The award is not given out every year, only when the Board of Governor’s feels that an individual has truly earned the award.

Brian, a graduate of Colorado State University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, is a partner with Western Mechanical Solutions. In addition to being involved with ASHRAE at the Society level as RVC, chairman of the ASHRAE High-Performance Building Design Professional (HBDP) certification committee, and a member of the ASHRAE Standard 55 Committee (SSPC 55), Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy, he is also a past president of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of ASHRAE and continues to be actively involved as a volunteer within the chapter.

 

Legislatures Adjourn with Unfinished Business

Legislatures in Alabama, Iowa, Louisiana and South Carolina have adjourned though not without complications. Louisiana’s session ended after lawmakers there enacted a cigarette tax increase and reduced some tax incentives to close a $1.6 billion shortfall in the state’s $24 billion budget. Neither Alabama nor South Carolina legislatures passed a final state budget for the next fiscal year. The South Carolina legislature returned on June 16 to finalize that state’s budget and a few other pending pieces of legislation.  However, Alabama was particularly problematic. The legislature approved a $1.63 billion state budget, with $199.6 million in spending cuts, only to be vetoed by Governor Robert Bentley. The governor has been supporting tax increases on income and automobile sales to close the spending gap. The House voted to override the veto, but the Senate adjourned sine die without holding an override vote. A special session will be necessary later this year to resolve the budget and other issues (the state’s fiscal year begins October 1). House Leaders were to meet on June 11 to hammer out the details of a special session, but it is unclear at this time if and when the Senate will follow suit.

 

Montgomery County, Maryland has first Benchmarked Buildings

Under the new Benchmarking Law passed in May 2014, Montgomery County, Maryland facilities 50,000 square feet and greater are required to benchmark their buildings in EPA's Portfolio Manager by June 1, 2015. With 23 buildings over the size threshold, the County Department of General Services (DGS) – Office of Energy and Sustainability went through and manually benchmarked their buildings.

In BENCHMARKED: Montgomery County, DGS shares about the challenges of benchmarking – from getting energy information from tenants, to collecting building profile information. The effort of benchmarking, however, provides crucial information about the County's building portfolio and DGS looks forward to (with some fancier tools!) benchmarking as much of their portfolio as they can in the coming years.  

Return to list

0 Comments