Congress Passes Energy Efficiency Bill S.535

April 22, 2015

By Mikhail Haramati

Congress passed legislation yesterday to increase energy efficiency in commercial and leased buildings. The bill, one of several promoting efficiency being discussed in Congress this session, will become law if signed by the President. While the requirements in this piece of legislation are modest, the bill passed by wide margins in both houses, demonstrating bi-partisan support for energy efficiency.

S.535, the “Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015,” was sponsored by Senators Portman and Shaheen, and includes the following:

  • Commercial leasing provisions for federal buildings
  • Creation of a “Tenant Star” program, within Energy Star, to promote and recognize voluntary efficiency by tenants leasing space in commercial buildings.
  • Standards for new grid-tied electric water heaters >75 gallons, containing an “activation lock”
  • Benchmarking and disclosure for commercial buildings, including the creation of a database for compiling building energy use on commercial and MF buildings from programs, certifications, and various mandatory and voluntary disclosure requirements

Click here for the Full Bill Text