July 20, 2011
Contact: Amanda Dean
ASHRAE Supports Funding for Important Building Data Survey on the House Floor
ATLANTA—ASHRAE received Congressional support from co-chairs of the High-Performance Buildings Congressional Caucus regarding the Society’s call to the federal government to resume work on the 2011 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS).
On July 13, Representatives Judy Biggert (R-Ill.) and Russ Carnahan (D-Mo.) delivered a colloquy on the House floor in strong support of funding and resuming work on the 2011 CBECS. Joining in the colloquy, the chairman and ranking Democrat of the House Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee, Representatives Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.) and Peter Visclosky (D-Ind.), also lent their support to the importance of CBECS data.
Carnahan quoted a letter from ASHRAE issued in May, strongly urging Congress to include funding for CBECS in the Fiscal Year 2012 appropriations bills to allow work on the 2011 edition of the Survey to continue. The letter was submitted to the Congressional Record. “If funding is not provided, work on the 2011 CBECS data will likely not continue, and the government and industry will be forced to rely on data that is nearly a decade old, resulting in potential missed opportunities to increase building efficiency,” Carnahan read from the ASHRAE letter on the House floor.
Earlier this year the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced it would not be releasing the results of the 2007 CBECS due to data collection errors. As a result of funding reductions, EIA also announced that it would halt work on the 2011 edition of the Survey. Currently, the latest version of CBECS data is from 2003.
“Many members of the High Performance Building Coalition have come to us to express their concern about an updated CBECS since the latest data is nearly a decade old,” Biggert said while addressing the House. “Substantial investments in the commercial building sector have been made since the last CBECS was published in 2003. The updated data is not only valuable to building owners looking to make improvements, but also necessary to inform the Annual Energy Outlook that we, in Congress, rely on.”
ASHRAE led the establishment of the HPB Congressional Caucus in 2008 to heighten awareness and inform policymakers about the major impact buildings have on our health, safety and welfare and the opportunities to design, construct and operate high-performance buildings that reflect our concern for these impacts.