Monday, April 30, 2012

Happy Friday and welcome to ASHRAE's Government Affairs Update! Along with the Government Affairs Webpage, these periodic Email updates feature information on government affairs-related activities of interest to ASHRAE members and others interested in the built environment. Archives of previous updates are available from the Government Affairs Webpage ( 
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ASHRAE Government Affairs Update, 4/20/2012
  • House Funding Subcommittee Approves $5 Million Reduction for EIA, Threatening 2012 CBECS
  • High-Performance Building Week Events Announced
  • High-Performance Building Caucus Examines the Business Case for Energy Efficiency Improvements to Existing Buildings
  • Coalitions Forming between ASHRAE Members and Regional Energy Efficiency Groups

House Funding Subcommittee Approves $5 Million Reduction for EIA, Threatening 2012 CBECS
This week the House Energy & Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee approved a bill that would reduce fiscal year 2013 funding to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) by $5 million, and reduce funding to the U.S. Department of Energy by $358 million, compared to current levels.

The proposed funding reductions threaten to halt progress on the 2012 edition of the Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS). Work on the next edition of the Survey has already been suspended once due to Congressional funding cuts. The most recent edition of CBECS is nearly a decade old – from 2003.

The Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey is a national sample survey that collects information on the stock of U.S. commercial buildings, their energy-related building characteristics, and their energy consumption and expenditures. CBECS data are critical to the building community because they help form the basis for understanding patterns of energy use, informing the decisions of the industry and key policymakers and government programs. For instance, CBECS data are used by ASHRAE in the development of our building energy efficiency standards, which are used by the federal government and most states. CBECS data are also used by many federal and private sector programs in their efforts to promote building efficiency.

The House Subcommittee-approved numbers are not yet final – the House would still need to pass this bill, and the Senate will likely markup their own version. This is an issue that ASHRAE will closely be monitoring. For more information or to get involved, please contact

High-Performance Building Week Events Announced
The 2012 High-Performance Building Week runs from May 14 to 18. The growing schedule of events (all held in Washington, DC) is now available on

High-Performance Building Week is organized by the High-Performance Building Congressional Caucus Coalition, and seeks to educate and share information among policymakers, the building community, and general public on the benefits of high-performance buildings, while exploring options for overcoming market, policy, and other barriers to improving the nation’s building stock.

Do you have a high-performance building-related event in Washington, DC or elsewhere that you’d like listed on the High-Performance Building Week calendar? If so, then email, and we’ll be happy to help you.

High-Performance Building Caucus Examines the Business Case for Energy Efficiency Improvements to Existing Buildings
How can the building industry, policymakers, the financial community, and others increase the adoption of energy efficiency retrofits and renovations in existing buildings? These were the issues addressed at a recent High-Performance Building Congressional Caucus Coalition (HPBCCC) briefing on Capitol Hill. The briefing featured presentations from (presentation titles are listed above speakers' names):

Market Opportunity for Retrofits and Renovations and How to Make the Business Case for Energy Efficiency
Michele A. Russo, LEED AP
Director, Green Content & Research Communications
McGraw-Hill Construction

The Business Case for Building Owners and Managers
Bruce D. Hunn, Ph.D.
Consultant in Building Energy Analysis

A Business Case for Multi-Tenanted Office Buildings: Creating a Win for Owners, Managers and Tenants
Richard W. Greninger, CPM
Vice Chair, BOMA International
Managing Partner, Operations, Carr Properties

All presentations can be viewed at

Coalitions Forming between ASHRAE Members and Regional Energy Efficiency Groups
Working in concert with like-minded organizations is a basic tenet of advocacy at all levels of government – and now, U.S. ASHRAE members nationwide have the opportunity to work in tandem with influential energy efficiency advocates.

There are six regional energy efficiency organizations (REEOs), which serve as guiding forces in the development of strong and sound energy policy in their respective spheres of influence:
ASHRAE regional and chapter leaders are taking advantage of the REEOs’ 30,000-foot view of stringent energy codes and standards by discussing with these organizations ways in which ASHRAE can work with them to further the cause of greater efficiency in the built environment at their communities.

If you are interested in learning more about the REEO in your part of the U.S., please contact the Government Affairs Office at and we will get you up-to-speed and put you in touch with the right people.

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