Nearly four years in the making, new legislation aimed at encouraging energy efficiency in leased commercial spaces was signed into law by President Barack Obama on April 30.
The law authorizes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to jointly create a voluntary Tenant Star program aimed at providing national recognition to tenants who design, construct, and operate highly energy-efficient leased spaces in commercial buildings. The Tenant Star program is inspired by the long-running Energy Star program for whole buildings. That program provides a variety of tools for promoting energy efficiency, for measuring and benchmarking energy consumption, and for certifying those properties that achieve certain levels of energy efficiency.
Tenant Star will be the first government-endorsed label in the United States to recognize leased spaces within commercial buildings for sustainable design and operation. Energy Star has been commendable at capturing energy performance in existing buildings.