By Craig Benedetto, California Strategies
BOMA International announced this past week that ENERGY STAR funding, which includes the popular Portfolio Manager tool, was passed by both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees in their Interior, Environment and Related Agencies 2019 Appropriations Bill.
As you may remember from our report this past winter following our semi-annual trip to Washington, DC, the Trump administration previously called for the elimination of the ENERGY STAR program in its 2018 budget proposal. Preserving ENERGY STAR immediately became a top legislative priority for BOMA, which included it as an advocacy point during BOMA’s Capitol Hill visits with our local delegation members.
Earlier this year, President Trump adjusted his latest budget request to propose transforming ENERGY STAR into a user-fee based system. While an improvement over the elimination of the program, BOMA International vigorously defended the current funding mechanism and structure.
BOMA played a pivotal role in ensuring this language was included. BOMA’s members, including the team from San Diego, helped advocate with their Members of Congress. BOMA International met with senior staff on the Appropriations Committees and worked with a coalition of real estate interests to make the case for ENERGY STAR, resulting in this victory.
For San Diego, Energy Star funding and having access to the Portfolio Manager tool is important as this program will help with the implementation of the State of California’s, and ultimately the City of San Diego’s, Commercial Building Energy Performance Benchmarking mandates.
The bills will now go to the full House and Senate for a potential floor vote. BOMA International will continue to lobby Congress in support of ENERGY STAR.