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ASHRAE Government Affairs Update, 6/13/2014

Federal Activities

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


ASHRAE’s Senior Officers Meet in Washington, DC with Federal Agency, Association Leaders

Twice-a-year ASHRAE’s President, President-Elect, Treasurer, and Executive Vice President travel to Washington, DC to strengthen existing relationships and explore possible new opportunities with a number of associations, technical societies, and federal agencies. Recently, ASHRAE’s senior officers met with the following entities:

  • Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute
  • American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy
  • International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials Group
  • U.S. Department of Energy, Building Technologies Office
  • U.S. Department of Energy, Federal Energy Management Program
  • U.S. General Services Administration
  • World Health Organization


ASHRAE Submits Comments for HUD/USDA Rulemaking on Updating Energy Efficiency Codes for Multifamily Housing

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are proposing to update their energy codes for single and multifamily housing to the 2009 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2007, respectively. As part of this process, HUD and USDA recently issued a preliminary determination that the 2009 IECC and (with the exception of Hawaii) ASHRAE 90.1-2007 will not negatively affect the affordability and availability of housing covered by the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007.

In its comments, ASHRAE commends HUD and USDA for this action, and encourages them to further update their codes for multifamily buildings to 90.1-2010, noting that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has already evaluated the 2010 version, and has recently provided a preliminary determination that 90.1-2013 would achieve greater energy efficiency than the 2010 version. Consequently,

“ASHRAE strongly encourages HUD and Agriculture Departments to provide a consistent Federal Government approach, particularly for 3 story of greater buildings, by endorsing and incorporating into the above regulations ASHRAE 90.1-2010. Further, after the DOE formal evaluation of ASHRAE 90.1-2013 is completed, HUD and Agriculture Departments should promptly update their regulations to include that reference, presuming a favorable DOE determination. A single, consistent US Standard will enable better enforcement and compliance and avoid marketplace confusion”, ASHRAE stated in its comments.

To view ASHRAE’s comments, please click here (PDF).


ICC 700 Referenced in Senate Version of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015

The U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee recently released its version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2015, which was approved by the Committee late last month by a vote of 25-1. The NDAA authorizes funding for Department of Defense programs, including military facility construction and operations. This bill includes a bipartisan provision on the ICC 700 National Green Building Standard® (NGBS). The NGBS was approved in 2009 by ANSI as the first green building standard for residential construction, development and remodeling. Recently, ASHRAE joined with the National Association of Home Builders and ICC as a joint developer of the 2015 version of the NGBS. For additional information on this new co-sponsorship, please click here.

Below is the text on NGBS in the Senate version of the NDAA FY 2015:


“All residential buildings funded, planned, remodeled, or authorized by this Act that will be designed and constructed to meet an above code green building standard or rating system may use the ICC 700 National Green Building Standard, the LEED Green Building Standard System, or an equivalent protocol which has been developed using a voluntary consensus standard, as defined in Office of Management and Budget Circular Number A-119.”


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].


BCAP Celebrates Twenty Years by Establishing Independence

The Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP) is pleased to announce that, beginning June 1, 2014, BCAP ended its status as a program of the Alliance to Save Energy (the Alliance) and became a stand-alone organization, receiving fiscal sponsorship and non-profit status from a new partner, the Trust for Conservation Innovation (TCI).

BCAP was started in 1994 as a joint project of the Alliance, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the American Council for an Energy-Efficiency Economy. “The BCAP team and our many partners are enormously grateful for the twenty years of stewardship provided by the Alliance, and for the encouragement they are giving us as we begin this new adventure,” said Maureen Guttman, AIA, President of BCAP. “There are exciting opportunities for BCAP as we move forward and explore new areas of growth.”

Through its work at the national, state and local levels, BCAP provides education and technical support for code adoption proceedings, promotes collaboration among stakeholders to achieve action at the state level, and addresses common barriers to compliance through the development of innovative programs and tools. The building sector accounts for around 40% of total energy use and over 70% of electricity use in the U.S. and thus is a key target sector for the deployment of energy efficiency measures. Adoption and enforcement of the nation’s model energy codes is, by far, the simplest and most effective means of achieving widespread savings in the built environment.

For additional information on the past and future of BCAP, please see Maureen Guttman’s blog post on OCEAN


New Energy Code Adoptions

Recent communication from NEEP has provided information about new energy code adoptions. 


Massachusetts DOER Posts Program Opportunity Notice for “Pathways to Zero” Grant Program

The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) is pleased to announce the release of the Program Opportunity Notice (PON) for the Pathways to Zero Grant Program. This program will support the deployment of demonstration building projects that intend to achieve or exceed a Zero Net Energy Buildings (ZNEB) goal in the residential, multifamily, commercial and institutional building sectors.

Grants are available for up to $10,000 for single family homes, up to $400,000 for multi-family residential buildings, and up to $500,000 for commercial and institutional buildings. All projects are eligible to receive funding for construction costs. Multi-family residential, commercial and institutional projects are also eligible for funding for feasibility studies and integrated design services.

More details can be found in the PON via the COMMBUYS website. Responses are due July 15th, 2014, and a bidder’s conference will be held on May 27th at 11:00 a.m. via webinar; more details will be posted on DOER’s Grants page.


Ohio Legislation Freezing Energy Efficiency Standards Goes to the Governor

The Ohio House has passed a controversial measure that pulls back on the state’s renewable energy standards. Senate Bill 310, which passed 53-38 on the afternoon of May 28, had previously passed the Senate. Once the Senate agrees to the minor changes made by the House, the measure will go to the Governor for his signature.  The bill includes a two-year freeze on standards that apply to electricity utility renewable energy and energy efficiency programs. It also makes major changes to the rules when they resume in 2017, ending a requirement that utilities purchase half of their renewable energy from within the state and expanding the types of projects that count as “energy efficiency” for purposes of regulation. Governor Kasich indicates he will sign the legislation. For more information on the legislation, please click here.



The Utah Uniform Building Code Commission met on June 11, 2014. On their agenda was discussion of moving to a six year cycle. Quite a number of people spoke in opposition to changing the code cycle and the Commission did not make or recommend any changes. It is still likely that the issue will resurface in next year’s legislative session so it will be necessary to educate legislators. 


Nova Scotia

Aaron Smith, Halifax Chapter GGAC Chair, recently contacted the Building Code Coordinator for the Public Safety Division of the Nova Scotia Labour & Workforce Development Office to commend the government of Nova Scotia for adopting an energy code for commercial buildings. The Province of Nova Scotia adopted the National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings (NECB) 2011 and the Halifax Chapter of ASHRAE has asked that ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1 be accepted as an alternative compliance path for the design, construction, and renovation of commercial buildings.

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