The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), Washington, in a July 1 release supporting passage of the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, stated “The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) commends the House of Representatives for passing landmark energy and climate legislation Friday that includes several significant provisions to incentivize and accelerate the benefits of green building across the country.”
“From programs that would generate billions of dollars to spur and scale green retrofitting of our existing building stock to inclusion of the GREEN Act, which would create new opportunities for green affordable housing, this bill recognizes that green building is a major part of the solution to our economic and energy challenges,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair. “With this federal commitment, green building can help propel the new green economy by creating enormous energy and cost savings for millions of Americans, while accelerating unprecedented job creation.”
According to the release, the act includes several initiatives or provisions supported by or developed in consultation with USGBC, including:
- The Retrofit for Energy and Environmental Performance (REEP) program, which supports the creation of retrofitting initiatives throughout the country for residential and nonresidential buildings that may offer a variety of incentives, including credit enhancements, interest rate subsidies, and initial capital for public revolving-loan funds.
- The Building Energy Performance Labeling Program, which directs the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Washington, to create model building energy performance labels for new construction, establishing a meaningful and consistent basis for evaluating the energy performance of residential and commercial buildings.
- EPA’s WaterSense program, which receives permanent authorization to designate products as water efficient, as well as funding for state incentive programs for use of water-efficient products.
The USGBC release also tells us that green building is critical to the nation’s future economy, energy security, and environment—buildings account for 40% of U.S. energy consumption, 39% of CO2 emissions, and 13% of water consumption. Also, greater building efficiency can meet 85% of future U.S. demand for energy and a national commitment to green building has the potential to generate 2.5 million American jobs.
To download a 10-page pdf file that presents the USGBC’s summary of the act, click here.—Gary L. Parr