With Tenant Star already cleared by the Senate on March 27, the legislation can now be sent to the White House for President Obama’s anticipated signature.
The bill authorizes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Energy (DOE) to create a voluntary “Tenant Star” program modeled after the highly successful, market-based ENERGY STAR program. Once it is signed into law — and implementing guidelines are written — “Tenant Star” will provide national branding recognition to property owners and tenant teams that design, construct and operate highly energy efficient spaces within commercial buildings.
The House-passed bill tracks legislation long championed by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) in the upper chamber (“Tenant Star” also cleared the Senate as an amendment to Keystone XL pipeline legislation earlier this year). The key House sponsors, Reps. David McKinley (R-WV) and Peter Welch (D-VT), previously won overwhelming House passage (375-36) in March 2014 and pursued approval again today to ensure that both sides of Capitol Hill passed “Tenant Star” in the same congressional session.
Empire State Realty Trust (NYSE: ESRT) Chairman, President and CEO Anthony E. Malkin, who chairs The Roundtable’s Sustainability Policy Advisory Committee (SPAC), said, “Tenant Star is a voluntary program — with no federal mandate or cost — that will encourage commercial tenants and landlords to design and construct leased spaces in office buildings to achieve high levels of energy performance.”
With office tenants often accounting for over 50 percent of the energy consumed in an office building, he explained, “Tenant Star will encourage office tenants to incorporate into the construction of their leased premises common sense, cost-effective measures that yield excellent returns on investment over short pay-back periods.”
Added Malkin, “Tenants will favor landlords whose buildings can support such installations. Broad adoption will save businesses billions of dollars on energy costs in the coming years. The reduced consumption will afford savings in future capital outlays for energy generation and related infrastructure.”
The Real Estate Roundtable supports legislation that encourages energy efficiency and energy production as components of an “all of the above” national energy policy.
“We look forward to our continued work with Congress and the Obama Administration to ultimately sign ‘Tenant Star’ into law,” DeBoer said. “Meanwhile, we continue working to advance broadly supported measures that strive to balance economic growth with complementary polices to foster environmental stewardship.”
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