Senate Passes Bipartisan Energy Bill that Includes Ayotte’s “Better Buildings Act”

Portman-Shaheen legislation includes Ayotte provision that would encourage commercial tenants to reduce energy consumption

WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 30, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — The U.S. Senate today approved bipartisan legislation – the Energy Efficiency Improvement Act – cosponsored by U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) that is aimed at boosting energy efficiency across the public and private sectors. The bill, authored by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), includes a bipartisan provision authored by Ayotte and Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) that encourages tenants of commercial buildings to implement cost-effective measures to help reduce energy consumption and utility costs for businesses. Ayotte is an original cosponsor of the Portman-Shaheen bill.

“I’m pleased the Senate finally passed this commonsense legislation, which would increase energy efficiency across the public and private sectors,” said Ayotte.” Commercial tenants have an essential role to play in managing energy efficient buildings, and this bill includes a provision I coauthored to incentivize commercial tenants to voluntarily implement cost-effective measures to responsibly reduce energy consumption.”

The legislation incorporates language from an Ayotte stand-alone bill – the “Better Buildings Act” – that seeks to increase energy efficiency in commercial buildings by encouraging tenants to voluntarily implement cost-effective measures to reduce energy consumption and utility costs. The legislation would create a new voluntary “Tenant Star” certification to recognize tenants who operate energy efficient leased spaces. It’s estimated that tenants use 50 percent or more of the energy in all office buildings.

In addition to the “Tenant Star” designation, the bill asks the Department of Energy to study and learn from private sector best practices of how commercially-leased spaces are designed to achieve high performance and help reduce utility costs for businesses.

Ayotte’s Better Buildings legislation has been endorsed by dozens of organizations from the real estate sector, construction industry and environmental advocacy arena, including the American Institute of Architects, the National Association of Home Builders, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club, the Real Estate Roundtable, and the U.S. Green Building Council.

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