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ASHRAE Government Affairs Update, 12/2/2011
- National Defense Bill May Require Study of Standards 90.1 and 189.1 for Military Construction and Renovation
- President Obama Joins Leaders in Announcing $4 Billion Investment in Public and Private Building Energy Efficiency
- ASHRAE Comments on DOE Commercial Building Workforce Job/Task Analyses
- DOE Seeks Comment on Residential and Commercial Building Energy Performance Data Taxonomy
- U.N. Climate Change Talks Ongoing in Durban, South Africa
National Defense Bill May Require Study of Standards 90.1 and 189.1 for Military Construction and Renovation
After a week of debate, last night the Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, setting off a final round of negotiations between House and Senate leaders that could result in the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) conducting a study in 2012 on the effects of using ASHRAE Standards 90.1 Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, and 189.1 Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings for DoD military construction and renovation.
The House version of this bill (passed in May) differs in many ways from the Senate-passed version. For instance, the House version would require the study of Standards 90.1 and 189.1, while the Senate-passed version does not. Over the past several months ASHRAE has been working with House and Senate Armed Services Committee staff to improve the study requirements of Standards 90.1 and 189.1 to help provide federal policymakers with the most accurate information on building energy efficiency and sustainability.
Over the weekend and through next week, House and Senate leaders will meet to decide what the final National Defense bill should contain, which could include the study on Standards 90.1 and 189.1. The House and Senate will vote on the final version of this bill following these negotiations, after which it will be sent to the President for his signature.
President Obama Joins Leaders in Announcing $4 Billion Investment in Public and Private Building Energy Efficiency
Today President Barack Obama announced a new commitment to invest $2 billion to improve the energy efficiency of federal buildings over the next two years at little or no cost to taxpayers, by using the long-term savings of energy performance contracts.
Former President Bill Clinton joined President Obama to add that 60 CEOs, local and labor leaders have also committed to invest about $2 billion in building retrofits and related projects to improve building energy efficiency by at least 20 percent by 2020 in 1.6 billion square feet of office, industrial, municipal, hospital, community college, and school buildings.
"Upgrading the energy efficiency of America’s buildings is one of the fastest, easiest, and cheapest ways to save money, cut down on harmful pollution, and create good jobs right now. But we can’t wait for Congress to act. So today, I’m directing all federal agencies to make at least $2 billion worth of energy efficiency upgrades over the next 2 years – at no up-front cost to the taxpayer. Coupled with today’s extraordinary private sector commitments of $2 billion to upgrade businesses, factories, and military housing, America is taking another big step towards the competitive, clean energy economy it will take to win the future," said President Obama.
"Investments in building retrofits and energy efficiency can make a real difference in the American economy, by creating jobs, growing our industries, improving businesses’ bottom lines, reducing our energy bills and consumption, and preserving our planet for future generations," said former President Clinton.
The White House press release on this announcement can be found at http://1.usa.gov/uuoWJU
The President's memorandum to Executive departments and agencies can be found at http://1.usa.gov/uyb7vH
ASHRAE Comments on DOE Commercial Building Workforce Job/Task Analyses
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has developed a set of draft analyses for the minimum knowledge, skills, and abilities that a skilled worker should possess for six job classifications. The workforce job/task analyses are intended for use by federal, state, municipal and utility ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs, and organizations and individuals involved with training and accrediting commercial building personnel.
The six job classifications examined are:
- Commercial Building Energy Auditor
- Commercial Building Energy Modeler
- Commissioning/Retro-Commissioning Authority
- Energy/Sustainability Manager
- Facility Manager
- Operating Engineer/Building Technician
According to DOE, the Job/Task Analyses will:
- Assist training providers in developing course content and curricula consistent with an industry-recognized suite of Job/Task Analyses.
- Support increased workforce mobility up career ladders and across career lattices by establishing a clear set of knowledge, skills, and abilities upon which worker credentials should be based.
- Lay the foundation for more robust private sector training programs.
In response to DOE’s request for comment on their draft Job/Task Analyses, ASHRAE’s volunteer subject matter experts developed comments and recommendations that were submitted to DOE in late November. ASHRAE’s comments can be found at www.ashrae.org/advocacy by clicking on the Public Policy Issue Briefs, Letters & Testimony link on the left hand side of the Webpage.
Information from DOE on their Job/Task Analyses can be found at http://1.usa.gov/w433mS
DOE Seeks Comment on Residential and Commercial Building Energy Performance Data Taxonomy
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is seeking feedback from building industry stakeholders and the general public on a new scheme it has developed for organizing information on residential and commercial building energy performance data.
This taxonomy is part of DOE’s Building Performance Database project, and represents an attempt to provide a standardized, consistent method of classifying building energy performance data. The taxonomy is intended to be highly flexible and adaptable to a wide variety of uses and stakeholders, including policymakers, utilities, building owners, engineers, financial institutions, and others.
Comments are due to DOE by December 30, 2011. ASHRAE is planning to submit comments.
Additional information on DOE’s taxonomy, including how to submit comments, can be found at http://1.usa.gov/tJc5Nx and http://bit.ly/ugW2aI
U.N. Climate Change Talks Ongoing in Durban, South Africa
Building energy efficiency is one of the many issues being discussed at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa. Talks are ongoing amongst the over 190 countries and regions attending the conference, which runs from November 28 to December 9, 2011.
The conference features several opportunities for virtual participation, including Webcasts. These opportunities and related information on the conference can be found at http://unfccc.int/meetings/durban_nov_2011/meeting/6245.php
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