September, 2013 - On September 11, the U.S. Senate began to debate the Shaheen-Portman bill, also known as the “Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2013” (S. 1392). This bill is particularly important to real estate management and commercial real estate practitioners due to a key amendment that was introduced by Senators Michael Bennet and Kelly Ayotte. Senate Bill 1191, titled the “Better Buildings Act,” was introduced as an amendment to the Shaheen-Portman bill and would recognize efforts tenants make to decrease energy consumption by expanding upon energy-efficient designs in their buildings. Tenant Star is a component of the Better Buildings Act and 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.
One sponsor of S. 1191, Senator Ayotte stated, “our bipartisan legislation is a common sense, no-cost proposal that would promote greater energy efficiency in commercial buildings.”
IREM has been monitoring the Better Buildings Act and Tenant Star and supports the voluntary nature of this legislation. IREM signed onto a coalition letter of nearly fifty industry stakeholders sent on September 11 to all Senate offices. A similar letter went to House members earlier this summer. IREM will continue to monitor the activity of this legislation and push for the passage of the bill and the Tenant Star amendment.