ASHRAE Government Affairs Update

Congress Passes Federal Building and Industrial Energy Efficiency Bill

Last week the U.S. House and Senate passed the American Energy Manufacturing Technical Corrections Act (H.R.6582), offering up a victory to building energy efficiency advocates. The bill has been presented to the President, who is expected to sign it into law. The bill contains several provisions of specific interest to ASHRAE, including:

Coordination of Research and Development 
>> Requires the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to establish collaborative R&D partnerships to promote the commercialization of new industrial energy and water efficiency technologies and processes.
Best Practices for Advanced Energy Metering 
>> Requires DOE to coordinate with the U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. General Services Administration to issue a report on best practices for the use of advanced energy metering in federal facilities and equipment.
Federal Energy Management and Data Collection
>> Requires federal buildings to publish energy and water consumption data on an individual facility basis and improve energy and water management.

Several of these provisions were drawn from the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (S.1000), also known as Shaheen-Portman, which ASHRAE has been significantly involved with.

For additional information contact Mark Ames, ASHRAE Manager of Federal Government Affairs, at or 202-833-1830.

Senate Finance Committee Holds Hearing on Building Energy Efficiency Tax Issues

This week the U.S. Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on several commercial, residential, and industrial energy and water efficiency tax provisions that are up for possible alteration and extension, including 25C (existing home energy efficiency improvement credit), 45L (new home energy efficiency credit), and 179D (commercial building energy efficiency deduction). The 179D deduction is of particular interest to ASHRAE because energy savings over Standard 90.1-2001 are used to qualify for the deduction.

Specific proposals discussed at the hearing included:

>> Commercial Building Modernization Act (S.3591)
>> Cut Energy Bills at Home Act (S.1914)
>> Expanding Industrial Energy and Water Efficiency Incentives Act (S.3352)

All three bills were introduced by Senators Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) – both of whom are retiring at the end of this year. This change in leadership, combined with broader discussions of tax policy overhaul, have created additional room for debate over how to best incentivize the private sector to invest in building energy efficiency. This week’s hearing served as forum for discussing these issues, which will play prominently in the next Congress that begins next month.

For additional information on the hearing, including witness testimony, visit

ASHRAE Now Accepting Applications for Paid Public Policy Internship for Engineering Students

Help spread the word! ASHRAE is now accepting applications for a paid nine-week summer internship in Washington, DC that explores the connection between engineering and public policy. Students chosen for this highly competitive program conduct in-depth examinations of public policy issues affecting engineering and meet with Members of Congress, high-level White House staff, federal agency leaders, and technical society representatives to help them understand the political, policy and technical aspects of these problems. At the end of their internship, participants pose workable solutions that policymakers can implement.

This select program runs from June 3 to August 2, 2013, and is sponsored by ASHRAE and six other leading engineering societies:

>> American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) 
>> American Nuclear Society (ANS) 
>> American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) 
>> ASTM International 
>> Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 
>> SAE International

Interested in applying? Download the application at Submit completed applications and send questions to Mark Ames, WISE Program Chair and ASHRAE Manager of Federal Government Affairs, at

The deadline for submitting applications is December 31, 2012, but may be extended on a case-by-case basis.

ASHRAE's Government Affairs Updates detail information on government affairs-related activities of interest to ASHRAE members and others interested in the built environment. Archives of previous updates are available from the Government Affairs website.