President Obama recently signed into law the Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015 (S. 535), which creates a new “Tenant Star” to encourage energy efficiency in leased commercial spaces. Tenant energy usage can account for 50 percent or more of a building’s total energy usage. Like its predecessor, “Energy Star”, Tenant Star is a voluntary, market based, cost free program that is expected to encourage optimum energy efficiency in leased commercial spaces, helping the environment by cutting greenhouse gases.
This program has been championed by the real estate industry through the direct efforts of the Real Estate Roundtable. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in consultation with Department of Energy, will start developing standards for the Tenant Star designation within 180 days.
Along with Energy Star (which is aimed at encouraging energy efficiency within the building core), this new designation will encourage office tenants with their landlords to design and construct cost-effective energy investments in the building’s leased spaces.
NAIOP believes that the Tenant Star program can be an effective educational program that leads to voluntary, smart, cost-effective energy efficiency investments.