As part of a broader effort to cut federal spending levels, President Trump has previously proposed eliminating the Energy Star program. Doing so would not only deprive the real estate community of a valuable tool to monitor, compare, and reduce energy consumption, but would also create significant compliance issues for building owners in localities that require the disclosure of benchmarking data. While NAIOP continues to oppose such mandates – the Energy Star Portfolio Manager tool was originally conceived as a voluntary program, rather than a directive – these laws are already well established, and elimination of Energy Star would create uncertainty for public and private sector stakeholders.
Congress is in the process of developing legislation that will set federal agency spending levels. These appropriations bills will ultimately determine the fate of the Energy Star program.
Furthermore, EPA recently updated its scoring models to account for new consumption data. These models had not been updated in over a decade, and thus buildings were being benchmarked against data from 2003. Because the newer data reflects a more efficient stock of buildings (due to changing technology, tenant preferences, and other factors since 2003), Energy Star scores for most properties declined.
To more thoroughly assess the impact of these changes, EPA halted all new Energy Star certifications and initiated a review of its models.
NAIOP supports voluntary measures to promote energy efficiency, and has joined with others in the real estate community to convey to lawmakers the importance of maintaining programs like Energy Star that are voluntary in nature.