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ASHRAE Government Affairs Update, 12/5/2014

Federal Activities

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

 

ICC 700, LEED, Green Globes Referenced in House-Senate NDAA FY 2015 Agreement

The U.S. House and Senate are in the midst of agreeing to the conference report for the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2015. The NDAA paves the way for funding the United States’ defense programs, including military construction. The conference report includes a reference to reference to ICC 700 National Green Building Standard, as well as LEED, and Green Globes.

ASHRAE supportive of this reference, and earlier this year agreed to jointly develop the 2015 version of ICC 700.

ASHRAE worked with several groups, including the National Association of Home Builders and U.S. Green Building Council, and all House and Senate members of the Armed Services Committees over a number a number of months to help achieve this goal. Below is the specific language included in the conference report:

“If a residential building project (including repair or remodeling project) is authorized by this Act or will be carried out using amounts appropriated pursuant to an authorization of appropriations in this Act and the project will be designed and constructed to meet an above code green building standard or rating system, the Secretary of Defense or the Secretary of the military department concerned may use the ICC 700 National Green Building Standard, the LEED Green Building Standard System, the Green Globes Green Building Certification System, or an equivalent protocol developed using a voluntary consensus standard, as defined in Office of Management and Budget Circular Number A–119.”

The NDAA has been enacted into law for over 50 consecutive years, and is expected to be approved by the House and Senate, and then signed by the President sometime next week.

 

ASHRAE Seeks Applicants for WISE Paid Summer Internship Program in Washington, DC

Do you know a college engineering student who is interested in exploring the relationship between engineering and public policy through a paid summer internship in Washington, DC? If so, please make sure they apply to the Washington Internships for Students of Engineering (WISE) Program.

The Program runs from May 31 to August 1, 2015. Applications are due to Mark Ames ([email protected]) by December 31, 2014.

The application and additional information about the WISE Program are available here.

Please note that applicants must be a citizen or legal permanent resident of the United States, and a junior or senior engineering or computer science/engineering student or a recent engineering graduate beginning study in a graduate-level program.

 

ASHRAE Submits Comments on EPA 111(d) Rulemaking and USAID Request for Information on Climate Data, Tools, and Training for Developing Countries

The federal government has been active in issuing rulemakings and requests for information, and ASHRAE has responded, providing in-depth technical information to inform the policymaking process.

On November 24, ASHRAE submitted comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on their proposed rulemaking for electric generating units, commonly referred to as 111(d). The Society’s comments focus on energy efficiency, building energy codes, green building codes and standards, workforce training and professional certification, and building energy labeling and disclosure.

On December 4, ASHRAE submitted comments to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) on their request for information seeking advice knowledge, and best practices for developing and launching a new public-private partnership focused on connecting actionable climate science, data, tools, and training to decision-makers in developing countries.

ASHRAE’s comments to EPA and USAID are available 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].

 

Florida, Ohio Scale Back Energy Efficiency Regulations

Florida regulators have given their approval for electric utilities to cut energy efficiency goals and end solar rebates to customers after 2015. Florida's Public Service Commission voted Nov. 25 to approve staff recommendations that largely backed proposals from the utilities to cut "demand-side management" programs over the next five years. Those programs include rebates for homeowners to install solar panels on their roofs.

This follows shortly after Ohio regulators on Nov. 20 approved a request from utility FirstEnergy to put the majority of its energy efficiency programs for customers on hold. The state legislature approved a bill earlier this year to freeze the state's renewable energy and energy efficiency rules to allow them to study the economics. The standards had called for utilities to reduce power use by 22% while obtaining 25% of their power from renewables by 2025.

 

Government Activities Award Revised

Know an ASHRAE Champion? ASHRAE recognizes a member or team of members annually who excel in government activities at the Chapter level. Previously this award was to recognize a Chapter that excelled in government activities, however, the Grassroots Government Affairs Committee has changed the requirements so that individuals or a team of individuals, perhaps even from more than one Chapter, qualify for this Award.

Nominate that ASHRAE member or team today by using the application for the Government Activities Award, available here.

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