Energy Efficiency Legislation Would Spur Hundreds of Thousands of New Jobs

real estate roundtable energy efficiency

The Real Estate Roundtable applauds the re-introduction of bipartisan energy efficiency legislation (S. 2074) that would spur potentially hundreds of thousands of new domestic jobs; cut energy costs for taxpayers, building owners and business tenants; improve U.S. energy security; and reduce hundreds of metric tons of “greenhouse gases” associated with global climate change.

Co-authored by Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH), the bill has gained additional co-sponsors and enjoys support from a diverse array of stakeholders, including business, manufacturing, and environmental organizations and energy efficiency advocates. Joining Senators Shaheen and Portman as co-sponsors are Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Susan Collins (R-ME), Christopher Coons (D-DE), Al Franken (D-MN), John Hoeven (R-ND), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Mark Warner (D-VA), and Roger Wicker (R-MS).

According to an analysis by the American Council for an Energy Efficiency Economy (ACEEE), the bill has the potential to create up to 190,000 jobs by 2030.

The “base bill” re-introduced yesterday includes Roundtable-backed “Tenant Star” legislation — crafted by Senators Ayotte and Michael Bennet (D-CO) — that would build on the success of EPA’s voluntary ENERGY STAR program by creating a similar, tenant-oriented certification for leased spaces. Thus, building tenants who design, construct and operate their leased spaces in ways that maximize energy efficiency would receive public recognition for their efforts — recognition that could serve as a “badge of distinction” in the marketplace, attract investors, and spur other businesses to make similar efforts.

“The ‘Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act’ is a smart, commonsense bill and a ‘triple-win’ — especially with its Tenant Star component,” asserted Roundtable President and CEO Jeffrey DeBoer.

It spurs our economy by creating jobs, boosting innovation and enhancing energy security; it saves money for building owners and tenants; and it preserves our environment by cutting greenhouse gases.

Although building occupants vastly influence the amount of energy consumed within commercial and multi-family (apartment) buildings — by an estimated 50-80 percent of a structure’s total energy usage — energy efficiency legislation to date has focused on how property owners and developers can lower energy consumption. “Tenant Star helps address the missing part of the equation by offering market-driven, non-regulatory approaches for aligning building owners and their tenants to cooperatively reduce demands on the power grid,” explained DeBoer.

The House version of Tenant Star — authored by Reps. Peter Welch (D-VT) and David McKinley (R-WV) as part of the “Better Buildings Act” [H.R. 2126] — cleared the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Jan. 28 [See Rep. Welch’s press release:]

As Senators Shaheen and Portman explained in a Senate floor “colloquy” in December (see YouTube:, their bill:

refrains from placing new mandates on U.S. businesses or consumers

avoids adding to the federal budget deficit by fully offsetting new authorizations

by 2030, is estimated to save consumers $16.2 billion per year in reduced energy costs

would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of taking 22 million cars off the road

In addition to “Tenant Star,” S. 2074 includes other important provisions to enhance and recognize improved energy efficiency in the built environment. These include the development of voluntary, cost-sensitive residential and commercial building efficiency targets by the U.S. Department of Energy; improved processes for appraisers, lenders and building owners to consider energy efficiency when valuing real estate; and studies on best practices used by utilities to provide critical data to owners of multi-tenant buildings to enable better “benchmarking” of energy consumption. See the additional ten bipartisan amendments here:

The Real Estate Roundtable brings together leaders of the nation’s publicly-held and privately owned real estate ownership, development, lending and management firms with the leaders of national real estate trade associations to jointly address key national policy issues relating to real estate and the overall economy. Collectively, Roundtable members’ portfolios contain over 12 billion square feet of office, retail and industrial properties valued at more than $1 trillion; over 1.5 million apartment units; and in excess of 2.5 million hotel rooms. Participating trade associations represent more than 1.5 million people involved in virtually every aspect of the real estate business.

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SOURCE Real Estate Roundtable


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