H.R. 2126: Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2014, as amended

H.R. 2126

Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2014, as amended

March 4, 2014 (113th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact

Floor Situation

On Tuesday, March 4, 2014, the House will consider H.R. 2126, the Energy Efficiency Improvement Act, as amended,under a suspension of the rules.  The bill was introduced on May 23, 2013 by Rep. David McKinley (R-WV) and referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.  The bill was marked up on January 27-28, 2014, and ordered reported, as amended, by voice vote.


Bill Summary

Title I of H.R. 2126, the Better Buildings Act of 2014, requires the Administrator of the General Services Administration (GSA), to develop model commercial leasing provisions and best practices for use in leasing documents that designate a federal agency as a landlord or tenant to encourage the investment in energy efficiency measures.  Moreover, the Administrator is required develop policies and practices to implement energy and water efficiency measures, and make the model leasing commercial leasing practices developed under this Act available to State, county, and municipal governments.  Title I also amends the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 to require the Secretary of Energy to complete a feasibility study on improving energy efficiency in commercial buildings of separate spaces with high-performance energy efficiency measures and encouraging owners and tenants to implement high-performance energy efficiency measures in separate spaces.[1]  Finally, Title I establishes a voluntary Tenant Star Program within the Energy Star program to recognize tenants in commercial buildings that achieve high levels of energy efficiency in separate spaces.  This program requires the Administrator of the Energy Information Administration (EIA) to collect data on categories of building occupancy that consume significant quantities of energy and on other aspect of the property determined to be relevant to lowering energy consumption.

Title II, the Grid-Enabled Water Heaters title exempts certain thermal storage water heaters from regulation under new DOE efficiency standards that are scheduled to go into effect in April, 2015.  This title allows large grid-enabled electric-resistance water heaters to continue to be manufactured if they include capabilities that allow them to be used in electric thermal storage or demand response programs.

Title III, the Energy Efficient Government Technology Act amends the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 to require federal agencies to coordinate with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), DOE, and EPA to develop performance goals for evaluating the efforts of agencies in improving the maintenance, purchase, and use of energy-efficient and energy-saving information technology.  Included in these performance goals would be best practices and measurement and verification techniques for the maintenance, purchase, and use of energy-efficient information technologies.  Each agency’s progress would be tracked by the OMB.  Title III also requires the DOE to update a report on data center energy efficiency and maintain a data center energy practitioner certification program.  The DOE is also required to establish an open data initiative to make this information available and accessible.

Title IV, the Energy Information for Commercial Buildings title requires federally-leased buildings without Energy Star labels disclose their energy usage data.  Finally, this legislation requires DOE to complete a study, two years after the bill’s enactment, on the impact of state and local performance benchmarking and disclosure policies for commercial and multifamily buildings and the impact of utility policies for providing aggregated information to owners of multitenant buildings to assist with benchmarking programs.  Finally, Title IV requires the DOE to, 18 months after enactment, establish a database for the purpose of storing and making available public energy-related information on commercial and multifamily buildings.

[1] The term ‘separate spaces’ means areas within a commercial building that are leased or otherwise occupied by a tenant or other occupant for a period of time pursuant to the terms of a written agreement. 



A CBO estimate for the amended text of this legislation is currently unavailable.  CBO estimates that implementing Title I of this legislation would carry no significant cost.[1]

Additional Information

For questions or further information contact the GOP Conference at 5-5107.