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U.S. Rep. David McKinley (R-WVa.) and U.S. Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), co-chairs of the House High Performance Building Caucus, recently introduced two energy efficiency bills, reports AHRI and ACCA. The Home Owner Managing Energy Savings (HOMES) Bill would provide a $2,000 rebate to homeowners who achieve a minimum of 20% energy reduction by investing in energy-efficiency improvements, with additional funds available for increased energy conservation. Homeowner would be free to determine how the energy savings are achieved. Click the link to read more.

The Better Buildings Bill encourages tenants and landlords to work together on efficiency by creating a Tenant Star certification program, similar to the Energy Star building program. Energy-efficient tenants would receive public recognition of their Tenant Star certification.

Elsewhere, the U.S. Energy Department has published new procedures for determining savings from energy-efficiency upgrades in homes, commercial buildings and industrial facilities. The DOE noted that using consistent methods to calculate energy savings will improve the credibility and demonstrate the impact of energy-efficiency programs that help businesses and families reduce their energy bills.

 Currently, there are differences in the way public utility commissions, utilities, contractors and energy-efficiency program administrators calculate energy savings in different jurisdictions and regions of the country.