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ASHRAE Government Affairs Update, 7/25/2014

Federal Activities

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

 

House Committee Examines Economic Impacts of State Energy Policies

The U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee held a hearing this week that examined state energy efficiency, production, and environmental policies, with the hope that Congress can learn from states’ experiences, and copy or encourage them in the federal government and throughout the nation.

A significant portion of the hearing focused on the benefits of energy efficiency, such as reduced demand, potential job creation, and lessened environmental impacts. Many at the hearing also discussed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rule on fossil fuel-fired power plants. (More information on EPA’s proposed rule, including its connection to energy efficiency, can be found here.)

An archived webcast of the hearing, including witness testimony, can be found here.

 

U.S. Ranks 13th Out of 16 Nations on New International Energy Efficiency Scorecards

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has released its 2014 International Energy Efficiency Scorecard, which ranks 16 nations in 31 categories, including: Changes in energy intensity, spending on energy efficiency, commercial and residential building codes, and building labeling policies. Here’s how the nation’s staked-up:

1) Germany

2) Italy

3) European Union

4) China (tied with France)

4) France (tied with China)

6) Japan (tied with the United Kingdom)

6) United Kingdom (tied with Japan)

8) Spain

9) Canada

10) Australia

11) India

12) South Korea

13) United States

14) Russia

15) Brazil

16) Mexico

To view the scorecards and accompanying report, please click here.

 

Senators Discuss Local and Regional Approaches to Smart Growth and Building Economically Resilient Communities

The U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs recently held a hearing examining community development and approaches to smart growth, including associated sustainability, transportation, housing, and employment challenges and opportunities. The archived webcast and witness testimony can be found here.

 

GSA to Issue Guidance on Net-Zero Energy Federal Buildings by September

The U.S. General Services Administration’s Net-Zero Energy Task Group will issue draft guidance for net-zero energy federal buildings by this September. For additional information, please click here.

 

President Obama Signs Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Into Law

President Barack Obama signed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) into law this week. WIOA is bipartisan legislation designed to improve the linkages between job training and the skills in-demand by employers.

“The bill I’m about to sign will give communities more certainty to invest in job-training programs for the long run,” said President Obama. The legislation builds “on what we know works based on evidence, and based on tracking what actually delivers,” continued President Obama.

This legislation was recently approved in the House by a vote of 415 to 6, and in the Senate by a vote of 95 to 3. For additional information on WIOA, please click here.

 

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].

 

International Societies Form Indoor Environmental Quality – Global Alliance

A newly formed alliance seeks to serve as a global source for information, guidance and knowledge on indoor environmental quality.

A memorandum of understanding creating the Indoor Environment Quality Global Alliance was signed on Sunday, June 29, at ASHRAE’s 2014 Annual Conference in Seattle, Washington. Other groups joining the Alliance are the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), Air Infiltration and Ventilation Centre (AIVC), the Air & Waste Management Association (A&WMA), the Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA) and the Federation of European Heating and Air-Conditioning Associations (REHVA).

The Alliance was formed by an ad hoc committee appointed by ASHRAE 2013-14 President Bill Bahnfleth to explore ways in which industry groups could work together to address all aspects of indoor environmental quality and health.

The Alliance will provide guidance on the definition of acceptable indoor environmental quality, with an emphasis on thermal conditions and indoor air pollution, to ensure that the knowledge gathered from indoor environmental quality (IEQ) research is promulgated to and implemented by IEQ practitioners and regulatory bodies worldwide.

The establishment of the Alliance is supported by the World Health Organization and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, who will cooperate with the Alliance in the future.

More information can be found at www.ieq-ga.net and at www.ashrae.org/news

 

National Engineers Week

National Engineers Week 2015 will be February 22-28, 2015. Information and promotional materials will be sent to all GGAC RVCs and to the Chapter’s GGAC Chairs. Proclamations and other efforts to promote and increase public awareness of engineering will be sent in the coming weeks. For more information please click here and here

 

Connecticut

The Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA) in Connecticut has recently joined with specialty investor Clean Fund to bundle and provide $30 million in PACE loans for energy retrofits in commercial buildings. CEFIA was created to support the Governor’s and legislature’s strategies to achieve cleaner, cheaper and more reliable energy sources through clean energy finance. The goal of this initiative is to enable a strong private market through credit enhancements. For more information please click here.

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