NMHC/NAA have long-opposed building energy provisions that would focus on apartment efficiency through increased building codes or mandatory performance benchmarking programs. Although the most objectionable energy code provisions for the multifamily sector are not included in the measures being considered, we continue to advocate for transparency, and for improvements to the existing code development and adoption process.
So what could be the specific political ambitions at play when it comes to moving energy legislation forward? Senators Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and Rob Portman, R-Ohio, have long-championed an energy package that includes building efficiency provisions. But earlier efforts to pass the measure were thwarted by greater political pressures, including Obamacare and energy production issues. However, now that former Republican Senator Scott Brown is poised to challenge Shaheen in the upcoming election, Democratic senate leaders may look to bolster Shaheen’s accomplishments, while Republican supporters may cool to the idea of moving the bipartisan bill.
A change in leadership of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee to new Chair Senator Mary Landrieu, D-La., may also shift legislative priorities to oil and gas interests.
Any legislative effort could move quickly and offer limited amendment opportunities, similar to the recently passed House efficiency bill that, as we reported, would extend the Energy Star rating to commercial buildings within mixed use properties through a Tenant Star energy program - even if the building itself does not meet the Energy Star requirements.
Date Posted: March 26, 2014
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