House Energy and Commerce Committee Okays Tenant Star Bill

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The House Energy and Commerce Committee made its first move on energy efficiency in the 113th Congress with approval Jan 28 of a bill that would create a ‘Tenant Star’ program.

The Better Buildings Act (H.R. 2126) would set energy efficiency standards for  those that rent space in commercial buildings. Tenants that meet the voluntary standards receive a Tenant Star certification similar to the Energy Star label now available for buildings.

The bill also would initiate study into how to improve efficiency in spaces occupied by tenants.

“We are hopeful that the committee leaders will continue to work across the aisle to bring to the House floor bipartisan energy efficiency policies, such as this legislation, that will better the U.S. economy and move the country towards reaching the goal of doubling our nation’s energy productivity,” said Elizabeth Tate, the director of government relations for the Alliance to Save Energy.

The bill is sponsored by Rep. Peter Welch, a Vermont Democrat, and Rep. David McKinley, a West Virginia Republican. It won unanimous committee approval on a voice vote.

A bill summary is here.

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About Elisa Wood

Elisa Wood is the chief editor of She has been writing about energy for more than three decades for top industry publications. Her work also has been picked up by CNN, the New York Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal Online and the Washington Post.