Advancing Energy Efficiency Through Building Codes

The Issue

The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2019 represents a dynamic shift in how energy efficiency is established in new building codes. Originally sponsored by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Representatives Peter Welch (DVT) and David McKinley (R-WV), this legislation codifies efficiency targets through a federal rulemaking, balancing the goal of efficiency gains against the upfront cost to building owners and investors. Widely regarded as a bipartisan solution to increased energy efficiency and reduced emissions, the bills have been endorsed by numerous efficiency and environmental groups, as well as many real estate and business interests.

BOMA Position

As the only commercial real estate association that participates in the national code development process, our members believe that increasing energy efficiency in the built environment is of paramount importance. There is a compelling business case to be made for property owners—saving energy reduces one of the largest controllable operating costs for buildings owners and their tenants. Ensuring that efficiency gains are paired with technical feasibility and economic realities is the right approach to address national sustainability and energy goals.

Specific Ask

Co-sponsor and support The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2019 (S. 2137 & H.R. 3962).

For more information please contact: John Bryant, Vice President of Advocacy and Building Codes, BOMA International, 202-326-6323,

Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act One-Pager.

  • Requires DOE to consider the economic feasibility and upfront costs of achieving proposed efficiency targets.
  • Establishes separate efficiency targets for residential and commercial buildings.
  • Initiates a rulemaking to determine efficiency targets, allowing for input by affected parties, including BOMA members.
  • Considers tenant behavior (plug loads) before creating targets.
  • The efficiency targets are voluntary and not binding for a state, local government, or Indian tribe as a matter of federal law.