Building Star Could Provide Incentives to Commercial Real Estate

The Energy Star ratings system and the Home Star program are likely to be joined by Building Star, which will provide incentives to improve energy efficiency in commercial and multi-family residential buildings.  Legislation to establishe Building Star was introduced by Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR).

If the legislation becomes law, the program would save the nation’s building owners more than $3 billion on their energy bills every year by cutting peak electricity demand by an amount of power equivalent to 33 300-megawatt power plants.  Building Star could cut emissions by 21 metric tons, according to the bill’s sponsors.  “Buildings represent 40 percent of the energy used in the United States, and many have old equipment that waste energy and money,” Pryor said.  The program includes rebates to cut the cost of energy-saving measures such as high-efficiency heating and improved insulation.  Additionally, Building Star would provide low-interest financing to small business owners.

Items that could be covered by Building Star incentives are building envelope insulation; mechanical insulation; windows, window films and doors; low-sloping roofs; HVAC equipment, water heaters and boilers; duct testing and sealing; variable speed motors; interior and exterior lighting; building energy audits, commissioning, tune-ups and training; as well as energy management and monitoring systems.