In a bipartisan effort, U.S. Representatives Peter Welch (D-VT) and David McKinley (R-WV) introduced legislation, the Better Buildings Act of 2013 (H.R. 2126), to support energy efficiency in commercial buildings. Similar to Energy Star, Tenant Star would connect the tenant and owner of commercial buildings to work together on improving energy efficiency. Investments to cost-effective energy savings measures have great potential of success when a partnership forms and the benefits are not exclusive to one party.
Energy Star began in 1992, as a voluntary program administered by the Environmental Protection Agency. It was established to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in homes and buildings throughout the U.S. Since its inception, Energy Star has served as an international model for energy efficiency programs. Over 20,000 U.S. buildings have received Energy Star certification and GHG emissions in each building have been reduced by at least 35 percent. It is estimated that Energy Star saved $2.7 billion in utility bills in 2012 alone.
IREM supports the voluntary nature of Tenant Star and energy efficiency programs that are not mandatory for building owners and occupants. A coalition of nearly fifty stakeholders, including IREM, submitted a letter to the leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce.