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ASHRAE Government Affairs Update, 7/29/11
- Debt Ceiling Talks Halt Most Other Action on Capitol Hill, But Impact on Building Industry Likely to be Substantial
- High-Performance Buildings Congressional Caucus Holds Energy Management Briefing on Capitol Hill
- NIBS Holds Hearing on Data Needs to Achieve High-Performance Buildings
- DOE Spotlights How Refrigerator Standards Help Save Consumers Billions
Debt Ceiling Talks Halt Most Other Action on Capitol Hill, But Impact on Building Industry Likely to be Substantial
As President Barack Obama and Congressional leaders strive to find a workable solution to raising the nation’s $14.3 trillion debt limit and reining in federal spending, most other action on Capitol Hill has come to a screeching halt. Behind the scenes, Hill staff have been in a frenzy, responding to a flood of constituent calls that have come as a result of requests for action from President Obama and interested organizations who have asked voters to put pressure on their elected officials to address the debt crisis.
While the details of the debt ceiling legislation are still being worked out, the impact of the final deal on the building industry will likely be substantial. For instance, the legislation will likely require about $1.2 trillion in discretionary domestic spending cuts over the next ten years. There have been estimates that this would require the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to come up with approximately $6 billion in spending cuts for agencies and programs under the Committee’s jurisdiction, which includes the U.S. Department of Energy.
High-Performance Buildings Congressional Caucus Holds Energy Management Briefing on Capitol Hill
The High-Performance Buildings Congressional Caucus recently held a briefing for Members of Congress, their staff, building industry stakeholders, and the general public entitled “Active Energy Management as a Path to 30% Energy Savings in High Performance Buildings”.
The promo for this briefing described it as follows:
“Business and government are constantly looking at ways to effectively reduce costs and still deliver quality goods and services. One way to reduce costs and ultimately improve the bottom line is to look at ongoing energy use and costs associated with the operation of a building or facility. Traditional methods often fall short of achieving the desired result. Rather, a holistic view of the building, considering how various components and systems work together and how energy is consumed will be a better approach for business and for government. It will provide a compelling challenge to those who legislate and regulate buildings and the thousands of components they contain. Please join us for a lively discussion with experts on building systems and total energy use as a means to realize 30% energy savings in high performance buildings.”
Speakers at this briefing included Representative Russ Carnahan (D-MO), Co-Chair of the High-Performance Buildings Caucus; Tom Phoenix, Chair of ASHRAE’s Building Energy Quotient Oversight Committee; Paul Hamilton, Senior Vice President of Schneider Electric; and Rob Boteler, Vice President of Nidec Motor Corporation.
To view the PowerPoint presentations delivered at this briefing, visit http://www.hpbccc.org/07272011.php.
ASHRAE serves as the Chair of the High-Performance Building Congressional Caucus Coalition (HPBCCC), which is a private-sector coalition of over 160 building industry stakeholders that organizes Congressional Caucus briefings, and provides guidance and support to the Congressional Caucus. For more information on the HPBCCC visit http://www.hpbccc.org/
NIBS Holds Hearing on Data Needs to Achieve High-Performance Buildings
The National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) recently held a representative hearing to begin identifying the needs and sources of data to achieve high-performance buildings. The hearing was presided over by ASHRAE past President Gordon Holness; past President of the American Institute of Architects Ron Skaggs; and current President of NIBS Henry L. Green.
At this hearing Doug Read, ASHRAE Program Director of Government Affairs, presented on ASHRAE’s research and data collection efforts through the Society’s involvement with DASH (Database for Analyzing Sustainable and High Performance Buildings).
For more information on the hearing, visit http://www.nibs.org/
DOE Spotlights How Refrigerator Standards Help Save Consumers Billions
Roland Risser, Director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Building Technologies Program, recently wrote an interesting blog post highlighting how refrigerator standards help save consumers about $20 billion per year in energy costs, compared to refrigerators in the 1970s.
To view the blog post, visit http://bit.ly/pAC4ja