The ability to construct and modify the built environment to incorporate higher performing and more energy-efficient buildings can be a catalyst for job and economic growth
Washington DC (PRWEB) January 20, 2012
Ingersoll-Rand plc (NYSE:IR), a world leader in creating and sustaining safe, comfortable and efficient environments, has joined with 15 leading companies to sponsor a new U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) report that provides recommendations that can drive economic and environmental benefits of green building without new legislation. Presented to the Obama Administration, the USGBC’s 2nd annual Existing Legal Authorities (ELA) report seeks to identify what the executive branch should do to facilitate sustainability improvements absent congressional assent.
The report, Better Buildings Through Executive Action: Leveraging Existing Authorities to Promote Energy Efficiency and Sustainability in Multifamily, Residential and Commercial Buildings, provides a look into activity and progress from the 2010 report as well as identifies new opportunities that include facilitating the use of widely-recognized residential energy efficiency labels; integrating building energy efficiency and sustainability programs into programs managed by the Economic Development Administration; and better utilizing the Department of Defense’s procurement and research authorities to promote green buildings.
“The ability to construct and modify the built environment to incorporate higher performing and more energy-efficient buildings can be a catalyst for job and economic growth,” notes W. Scott Tew, executive director, Center for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability (CEES), Ingersoll Rand. “This report underscores how solid and complementary federal actions can accelerate energy efficiency in the U.S., deliver cost savings to building owners and help meet targets around greenhouse gas reduction, without new legislation. We encourage the administration to build upon the momentum created in 2010 and look forward to working with the USGBC in making these recommendations a reality.”
New opportunities in the report targeted to advance sustainability include:
- Facilitate a Voluntary Residential Building Labeling Program. A nationally-recognized, consumer-friendly energy efficiency label for residential buildings could have the same impact in the market for real estate that the ENERGY STAR label has had in the market for consumer products and appliances. DOE could accelerate the development of such a label by building on its existing E-Scale pilot program and the Federal Trade Commission could facilitate the adoption of such a label by clarifying its regulations on certifications and “green” product claims.
- Revive Federal Use of Energy Savings Performance Contracting. Energy savings performance contracts (“ESPCs”) help agencies upgrade their facilities to meet modern efficiency standards, while paying for the improvements over time out of their energy savings. The executive branch could improve oversight of agency capital investment plans and provide incentives for procurement officials to explore ESPCs as one vehicle for financing capital improvements. This recommendation is aligned with Obama’s recent goal to implement $2 billion in new ESPCs in the next two years.
- Strength in Energy Data Collection Programs for Large Buildings. The systematic collection of detailed data on building energy characteristics and performance is critical to informing the development of future standards, monitoring progress and enabling objective comparisons of buildings. Federal authorities, including the energy information administration, have significant authority to supplement and collect energy use data through additional requests from owners and occupants of large buildings.
Ingersoll Rand, the USGBC and other partner organizations have worked closely with federal government officials to identify new executive policymaking opportunities to achieve higher performance in energy efficient buildings. Since the first USGBC report in April 2010, there has been significant progress in implementing several proposals, including the administration’s Better Buildings initiatives.
More information on Ingersoll Rand's sustainability initiatives and a copy of the USGBC report can be found at http://www.cees.ingersollrand.com.
About Ingersoll Rand
Ingersoll Rand (NYSE:IR) is a world leader in creating and sustaining safe, comfortable and efficient environments in commercial, residential and industrial markets. Our people and our family of brands - including Club Car®, Hussmann®, Ingersoll Rand®, Schlage®, Thermo King® and Trane® - work together to enhance the quality and comfort of air in homes and buildings, transport and protect food and perishables, secure homes and commercial properties, and increase industrial productivity and efficiency. Ingersoll Rand is a $14 billion global business committed to sustainable business practices within our company and for our customers. For more information, visit http://www.ingersollrand.com.
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