Blog

 Subscribe via RSS

ASHRAE Government Affairs Update, 5/16/2014

Federal Activities

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

DOE Issues Preliminary Determination of Energy Savings for ANSI/ASHRAE/IES 90.1-2013

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has issued its preliminary determination of the energy savings of ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013 – Energy Standard for Buildings, Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, finding that the new standard would result in national source energy savings of approximately 8.5 percent and site energy savings of approximately 7.6 percent, as compared to buildings built to 90.1-2010. After this determination is finalized, states will be required to certify that they have reviewed, and as necessary, updated the energy efficiency provisions of their commercial building energy code to meet or exceed 90.1-2013.

DOE is welcoming public comment on this preliminary determination. Comments are due by June 16, 2014. To view the preliminary determination, visit http://ow.ly/wTLI3.

The White House recently spotlighted the importance of 90.1 and this preliminary determination. To view that release, visit http://ow.ly/wTMzD.

 

Energy Efficiency Bill Stalls in U.S. Senate

Once again falling prey to the titan of election-year politics, the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (S.2262) – better known as “Shaheen-Portman” – screeched to a halt earlier this week on the Senate floor. The impasse was not over the substance of the bill itself, but rather the number and nature of amendments that Republicans and Democrats wanted to see added to the bill, which included approving the Keystone XL Pipeline and blocking certain Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations.

(For those not familiar with Shaheen-Portman, background information can be found here.)

The bill is now effectively dead in the Senate, with the possibility that it could be resurrected after the November elections, when politics is less of a factor. In the meantime, the House is continuing to work on another package of energy efficiency bills that could be passed sometime this summer. Inspiration for this package is being drawn from sections of Shaheen-Portman, as most of that bill has strong support in Congress and among groups representing stakeholder communities. The passage by the House of another package of efficiency bills would place additional pressure on Senators to approve Shaheen-Portman.

Earlier this year the House took the bold move of overwhelmingly approving a package of four energy efficiency-related bills through the bipartisan Energy Efficiency Improvement Act (H.R.2126). This bill was led and sponsored by Representatives David McKinley (R-WV) and Peter Welch (D-VT), who Co-Chair the High-Performance Building Congressional Caucus. The Caucus is supported by the High-Performance Building Congressional Caucus Coalition (HPBCCC), which ASHRAE founded and currently Co-Chairs.

Additional information on the Energy Efficiency Improvement Act is available here.

 

SAVE Act Introduced in U.S. House

Last week, a bipartisan group of Representatives joined together to introduce and support the Sensible Accounting to Value Energy (SAVE) Act (H.R.4615). The Representatives include: Peter King (R-NY), Mark Amodei (R-NV), David McKinley (R-WV), Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), Gary Peters (D-MI), Scott Peters (D-CA), and Peter Welch (D-VT).

The SAVE Act would improve federal mortgage underwriting and appraisal standards by including expected energy cost savings from residential energy efficiency and renewable energy modifications when determining the value and affordability of homes. The Senate counterpart to the SAVE Act is included in the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (S.2262), also known as Shaheen-Portman, which the Senate failed to pass earlier this week due to political considerations.

“This common sense approach to conservation allows home owners across Michigan to make energy efficient modifications to their homes, while cutting their monthly household bills”, said Representative Gary Peters (D-MI). “By incentivizing sustainability and the construction of energy efficient homes, we are promoting job creation for homebuilders and manufacturers while also protecting our natural resources. I am proud to work across the aisle on a measure that will lower costs for middle class families trying to make smart energy usage decisions in their homes.”

ASHRAE is a proud member of a broad coalition of building community stakeholders who support the SAVE Act. For additional information, please visit http://ow.ly/wVqap.

 

Next Week is High-Performance Building Week

The week of May 19th is High-Performance Building (HPB) Week! HPB Week is an annual celebration of high-performing buildings that seeks to educate policymakers about the importance and deep impact that the built environment has on all aspects of society and life. HPB Week also provides valuable networking opportunities for policymakers, their staff, and stakeholder group representatives.

Organized by members of the High-Performance Building Congressional Caucus Coalition (HPBCCC), a number of events are scheduled to take place during HPB Week in the Washington, DC-Area. For additional information on these events and HPB Week in general, please visit http://www.hpbccc.org/hpb2014week.php or contact Doug Read, ASHRAE’s Director of Government Affairs, at [email protected].

 

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].

No New Action on MOE

There has been significant interest regarding the possibility that states might begin moving toward a Masters or Equivalent (MOE) for state licensure of engineers.  Attention has been focused on various state legislatures where a bill might be introduced that amends state licensing requirements. To date, there has been no action in any state legislature that would make these changes. ASHRAE is represented in these discussions by Presidential Member Dick Hayter.

Conversations are also underway regarding mobility of a PE license from one state to another. In a recent issue of Licensure Exchange, published by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES), President Patty Mamola, PE, devoted her article to the issue of mobility. For more information, see http://cdn4.ncees.co/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Licensure-Exchange-April-2014.pdf.   

 

NEEP 2014 Summit

The Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP) will be hosting its 2014 Summit in Newport, Rhode Island on June 2-3. Region I RVC Rich Vehlow will be representing ASHRAE.

As a component of the Summit, the buildings team will be hosting a workshop on the path toward zero net energy. This workshop will contain panels on building resiliency, regulations driving market valuation, and financing mechanisms illuminating the path toward zero net energy. 

After the workshop, NEEP has arranged a tour of two local high performance schools:

To register for the Summit or accompanying workshop/school tours here: http://neep.org/neep-events/neep-summit/index.

 

New Energy Code Adoptions

Recent communication from NEEP also provided information about new energy code adoptions: 

District of Columbia: D.C. has adopted the 2012 IECC (with amendments). The District also created its first Green Construction Code for buildings ≥10,000 ft2 by adopting the 2012 IgCC (with amendments). This Green Code also allows for compliance through the use of LEED, ASHRAE 189.1 and other standards. The new codes became effective upon their March 28 publication

Return to list

0 Comments