For additional information on federal issues, please contact Mark Ames, ASHRAE’s Senior Manager of Federal Government Affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While Members of Congress Away Work Continues on House and Senate Comprehensive Energy Bills
Since last week, Members of Congress have been back in their Districts and states, meeting with their constituents – including ASHRAE members! (See the sections under GGAC Regional and Chapter Activities for more information.) During this time, work has continued on the development of comprehensive energy bills in the House and Senate. While things change on a sometimes daily basis, the content of these bills is expected to draw heavily from the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (S.720), Weatherization Enhancement and Local Energy Efficiency Investment and Accountability Act (S.703), Energy Savings Through Public-Private Partnerships Act (S.858), and Energy Savings and Building Efficiency Act (H.R.1273), among others.
Draft comprehensive energy legislation in the House and Senate is expected to be released in late April or early May, following an April 30 hearing on energy efficiency legislation by the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee. More information on this hearing is available at http://www.energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/hearings-and-business-meetings?ID=a7ea3045-7029-4e1e-abeb-edf57628ab47
Bipartisan Education Reform Bill Released by Senate Leaders – Contains Little Support for STEM Education
Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA), the leaders of the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee, recently released a bipartisan agreement on a bill that would reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), currently known as No Child Left Behind. ESEA serves as the nation's guiding law for K-12 education.
The new bipartisan bill, titled the "Every Child Achieves Act", spans a wide range of issues, including: student testing and accountability, teacher and principle professional development, assistance to improve low-performing schools, and education standards, among others.
Surprisingly, the 601-page bill virtually ignores science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. ASHRAE is a member of the STEM Education Coalition, and is working with congressional offices to make STEM education-related improvements to the bill.
The HELP Committee press release and links to a summary, and the full text of the Every Child Achieves Act can be found at http://www.help.senate.gov/newsroom/press/release/?id=4cea5b0a-0acb-448c-bad9-d3fa00de0e66&groups=Chair
DOE Proposes Energy Conservation Standards, Test Procedures for Pumps
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is proposing new energy conservation standards and test procedures for pumps.
DOE will hold separate public meetings (both will be available via webinar) on the proposed standards and test procedures on Wednesday, April 29. Comments on the standards are due by June 1, 2015. Comments on the proposed test procedures are due by June 15, 2015.
Full information on the proposed energy conservation standards is available at https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/04/02/2015-06947/energy-conservation-program-energy-conservation-standards-for-pumps
Full information on the proposed test procedures is available at https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/04/01/2015-06945/energy-conservation-program-test-procedure-for-pumps
Working Group Proposed by DOE on Energy Conservation Standards for Miscellaneous Refrigeration Products
DOE has announced its plans to establish a negotiated rulemaking working group to negotiate proposed federal standards for the energy efficiency requirements of miscellaneous refrigeration standards. The purpose of the working group will be to discuss and, if possible, reach consensus on a proposed rule for the scope and definitions, certain aspects of the test procedure, and energy conservation standards for miscellaneous refrigeration products.
DOE will hold the first meeting for the Miscellaneous Refrigeration Products Working Group on Monday, May 4, and Tuesday, May 5, 2015, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., in Washington, DC. Written comments and request to be appointed as members of the working group are welcomed by DOE and should be submitted by April 15, 2015.
Full information is available at https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/04/01/2015-07469/appliance-standards-and-rulemaking-federal-advisory-committee-notice-of-intent-to-establish-the
Energy Conservation Standards for Fans and Blowers in Development by DOE
DOE recently announced its intent to create a negotiated rulemaking working group to negotiate proposed definitions, certain aspects of a proposed test procedure (if applicable), and proposed energy conservation standards for fans and blowers. DOE will hold the first meeting for the Fans and Blowers Working Group on Wednesday, May 6, and Thursday, May 7, 2015, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., in Washington, DC. Written comments and request to be appointed as members of the working group are welcomed by DOE and should be submitted by April 15, 2015.
Full information is available at https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/04/01/2015-07470/appliance-standards-and-rulemaking-federal-advisory-committee-notice-of-intent-to-establish-the-fans
DOE Proposes Energy Conservation Standards for Residential Boilers
DOE has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking on energy conservation standards for residential boilers that references ASHRAE Standard 103 Method of Testing for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency of Residential Central Furnaces and Boilers. Comments are due by June 1, 2015. DOE will hold a public meeting and webinar on April 30, 2015 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in Washington, DC.
Full information is available at https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/03/31/2015-06813/energy-conservation-program-energy-conservation-standards-for-residential-boilers
For additional information on state, local, and international government affairs, please contact Jim Scarborough, ASHRAE’s Manager of Grassroots Government Affairs, at email@example.com.
Arizona Legislature Passes Senate Bill 1241
The Arizona State Legislature passed Senate Bill 1241, which would prohibit any city or county from requiring “an owner, operator or tenant of a business, commercial building or multifamily housing property to measure and report energy usage and consumption, including energy consumption benchmarking and building facility energy efficiency audits.” This bill has been of particular concern in Arizona which is a “home rule” state, where cities and counties make decisions about their own standards. ASHRAE and the Arizona Chapters have sent their concerns about this bill to the Governor, who has up to ten days from the date he receives it to sign the bill or veto it. At the time of this writing, the Governor had not signed the bill. Electronic comments may be made to Governor Doug Ducey at www.azgovernor.gov/governor/engage.
ASHRAE Arizona Chapters Meet with Staff of U.S. Senator Jeff Flake
Representatives of both ASHRAE Arizona Chapters (Central Arizona and Tucson) met with Chelsea Lett, Director of Constituent Services, and Blake Farnsworth, Staff Assistant, for Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ), on Tuesday, April 7. Attending on behalf of ASHRAE’s Chapters were Colin Leisure-Pool, Meg Gates and Dave Palty. The meeting was arranged in response to a request from the ASHRAE Government Affairs Office urging our Chapter members to meet with federal legislators during the Spring Congressional recess. Topping their agenda with the Senator’s staff were energy efficiency, benchmarking, indoor environmental quality and STEM education.
ASHRAE Hawaii Chapter Representatives Meet with Staff of U.S. Senator Brian Schatz
Representatives of the ASHRAE Hawaii Chapter in Honolulu met with Sarah Kaopuiki, Director of External Affairs for Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI), on Friday, March 27. The Chapter delegation was led by Dean Borges, Chapter Vice President and GGAC Chair. Ms. Kaopuiki was most interested in net zero energy buildings and the ASHRAE Standard 189.1, which is consistent with the Senator's energy programs. Senator Schatz is a leader in promoting the growth of a strong domestic clean energy economy and modernizing our nation's energy infrastructure.
City Council of Berkeley, California Unanimously Adopts Berkeley Energy Saving Ordinance
The City Council of Berkeley, California unanimously adopted the Berkeley Energy Saving Ordinance (BESO) on March 10, 2015. The ordinance will require energy assessments at the time of sale for medium, small, and single family buildings, and will be phased-in by building size and year for all buildings, with the exception of single family homes (one to four units). The goal of BESO is to accelerate greenhouse gas emissions reductions to help us meet Climate Action goals, save money on utility bills and improve occupant health and comfort.
For more information, please go to http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/EnergyOrdinanceUpdate/.