This morning, the House Energy and Commerce Committee unanimously approved The Better Buildings Act (H.R. 2126), a bipartisan energy efficiency bill authored by Rep. Peter Welch and Rep. David McKinley (R-WV). Welch is a member of the Committee and the House leader on energy efficiency issues.
"The Committee's action today demonstrates that energy efficiency is a policy area where there is common ground between both parties in Congress. Vermont has led the nation on efficiency and I am pleased that Congress is now making progress on this issue. Action on this bill and other pending efficiency initiatives will be good for the economy, good for the environment, and good for the bottom lines of American families and businesses."
Tenant spaces in commercial buildings account for more than half of a building's total energy consumption. With a goal of achieving optimal performance levels in commercial buildings, The Better Buildings Act will establish energy efficiency best practices for tenants in commercial building spaces. Tenants meeting these high standards will be awarded a new "TENANT STAR" certification. The new program is similar to the existing ENERGY STAR program which certifies commercial buildings as highly energy efficient. The coveted ENERGY STAR label helps commercial building owners attract tenants and investors.
Rep. Welch is also the author of the Home Owner Managing Energy Savings Act (H.R. 2128) , the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (H.R. 1616), and the Energy Savings Through Public-Private Partnerships Act (H.R. 2689). Welch and McKinley are co-chairs of the House High Performance Building Caucus and Welch is the founder and co-chair of the House Energy Savings Performance Caucus.
Welch's legislation is expected to be considered by the full House of Representatives in the near future.