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Bipartisan legislation that establishes the new Tenant Star Label to recognize landlord and tenant teams that design, build out and operate energy-efficient leased commercial spaces has been signed into law by President Obama, according to a new CoStar news report.
The Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015 is the first government-sponsored branding label to recognize voluntary energy-efficiency efforts in leased spaces such as Philly office space for lease or Philly retail space for lease. The law, which calls for various federal actions to improve both energy and water efficiency in commercial and government buildings, complements the 20-year-old Energy Star Label, CoStar said.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s has sponsored the Energy Star for Buildings program since 1995 to provide an incentive to landlords and facilities managers to increase energy efficiency and reduce operating costs. Efforts to create legislation to extend similar incentives to tenants have fallen victim to a divided Congress until now.
The new Tenant Star law is designed to align the sustainability efforts of tenants with their landlords in implementing cost-effective, energy-efficient measures in leased spaces.
Supporters of the legislation say the law will save businesses billions of dollars in future energy costs — an estimated $4.6 billion by the year 2030. It also will bolster the economy by creating an untold number of jobs in the U.S. in the field of energy efficiency and sustainability. Lastly, the legislation will improve the environment by reducing greenhouse gasses, according to the news report.
The bill mandates that the U.S. Department of Energy determine within one year practical methods to implement major energy efficiency upgrades in commercial buildings, as well as to identify incentives to entice owners and tenants to make the improvements.
Federal buildings are likely to feel the impact of the Tenant Star Label legislation first. The new law requires the General Services Administration (GSA) to establish leasing provisions that will serve as a template for building owners and tenants to adopt energy and water measures in commercial buildings, according to CoStar. The GSA also is required to create best practices to introduce the provisions to the real estate services the GSA provides to federal agencies.
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