Bingaman Hearing Statement on Energy Efficient Buildings

February 26, 2009
03:03 PM
“Good Afternoon.   Today’s hearing will focus on policies and programs to improve energy efficiency in buildings.  It is important to focus on the building sector because it represents a large share of primary energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in our economy.   Technologies that improve building efficiency are often referred to as ‘low hanging fruit’ in meeting our energy challenges.  
“However, we have found that this ‘low hanging fruit’ can be hard to pick.  The building sector is complex and fragmented and in many cases the benefits of energy efficiency have not been well understood by those in the position to improve building efficiency.
“In the last two energy bills we enacted significant energy efficiency requirements for Federal buildings – most notably adopting the 2030 challenge for new Federal buildings and authorizing a ‘net-zero’ energy research and development program for private sector commercial buildings.   As we move forward on our third major energy bill in four years, I hope we can support the inclusion of bold policies that will help to transform our building sector.      
“The witnesses have been asked to provide comments on various programs and policy options to improve efficiency of buildings, including research for zero-energy buildings and integrated whole building design, advanced building codes, residential and commercial energy retrofits, disclosure of building energy use, market-driven changes, and the role of green building ratings programs.”  
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