House Passes Energy Bill

July 16, 2009

The U.S. House of Representatives has approved H.R. 2454 The American Clean Energy and Security Act (which has been renumbered as H.R. 2998), which includes provisions that exempt existing buildings from the bill’s provisions to build upon an existing ENERGY STAR® energy labeling program.

The bill by Representatives Waxman (D-CA) and Markey (D-MA) that passed the House is much different than the original proposal due to the lobbying efforts of IREM and CCIM. The original bill required energy audits for all buildings and homes, that these buildings be labeled and the energy rating label be disclosed at time of lease or sale, and it allowed any citizen to bring a private right of action against any entity that contributes to global warming.

The version of the bill that passed the House, H.R. 2998, does not require audits with the exception of buildings voluntarily participating in an energy efficiency program, limits labeling solely to new construction buildings, removes the private right of action, and prohibits the EPA from implementing a greenhouse gas emissions regulation for commercial and multifamily properties. Additionally, the passed bill provides financial incentives to property owners, along with matching grants and tools to make property improvements and reduce their energy bills.

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