08/02/16

S. 1046 – Smart Building Acceleration Act

The Smart Building Acceleration Act (S. 1046) was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) on April 22, 2015. Alliance Honorary Board Member Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) is a co-sponsor. Most recently, these provisions were included in Section 1014 of S. 2012, the Senate’s comprehensive energy bill. An identical bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives (H.R. 2564) by Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) on May 21, 2015. It was co-sponsored by Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) and Kathy Castor (D-Fla.). Both Reps. Welch and Rep. Kinzinger are Alliance Honorary Board Members.

Summary

This bill would accelerate the adoption of smart building technologies in the private sector and in key federal agencies, including the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, the Department of Veteran Affairs, and the General Services Administration.

Key Provisions

The Secretary of Energy would conduct a survey of privately-owned smart buildings throughout the United States, selecting at least one building each from an appropriate range of building sizes and types. The Secretary would then evaluate the costs and benefits of these buildings using the Federal Energy Management Program guidelines. Specifically, the Secretary would identify which advanced building technologies are most cost-effective and show the most promise for increasing building energy savings, increasing service performance to building occupants, and reducing environmental impacts. In addition, the Secretary would create a program that establishes at least one smart building under the jurisdiction of the key federal agencies to demonstrate the costs and benefits of smart buildings. Using the same guidelines, the Secretary would evaluate the costs and benefits of the selected buildings.

The Secretary would have to develop a smart building accelerator in consultation with major private sector property owners to demonstrate innovative policies and approaches that accelerate the transition to smart buildings. The Secretary would address key barriers to the integration of advanced building technologies and accelerate the transition to smart buildings by conducting research and development on the following:

  • physical components, such as sensors and controls;
  • reducing the cost of key components to accelerate the adoption of smart building technologies;
  • data management;
  • business models;
  • characterization of buildings and components;
  • consumer and utility protections; and
  • continuous management.

The Secretary would report on the survey and evaluation of both federal and private sector smart buildings and make any recommendations to further accelerate the transition to smart buildings.