Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: San Francisco Passes Law Requiring Building Energy Audits and Benchmarking

By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP Recently, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to pass the Existing Commercial Buildings Energy Performance Ordinance , which requires owners of commercial buildings greater than 10,000 square feet to gather and publish...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: Federal District Court in Washington State Upholds State Energy Code

By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP On February 7, 2011, a federal district court in Washington State held in Bldg. Indus. Ass'n of Wash. v. Wash. State Bldg. Code Council that the Washington State Building Code Council did not violate federal law when it...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: Senator Carper Introduces Bill Designed to Improve Energy Efficiency in Federal Buildings

By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP On May 11, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) introduced a wide-ranging bill setting energy efficiency standards for new federal buildings and requiring federal agencies to make publicly available energy use reductions. Among...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: Report Finds that Existing Technologies Could Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Buildings by 25% by 2050

By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP On May 16, 2011, the International Energy Agency (IEA) released a report that found that greenhouse gas emissions from residential, commercial and public buildings, which currently account for about one-third of total energy...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: New York City Announces Program to Test Green Products in City-Owned Buildings

By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP In May 2011, New York City announced that it is accepting applications for the Municipal Entrepreneurial Testing System (METS) , a new program that will allow startup companies to test green products, such as smart meters and...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: New York Passes Innovative Financing Mechanism for Improving Building Energy Efficiency

By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP On June 22, 2011, the New York State Legislature passed The Power NY Act of 2011 (A. 8510/S. 5844) (PNY Act).[1] Governor Cuomo is expected to sign it. The new law, once enacted, would do two very important things: (1) provide...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: Obama Administration Launches Better Buildings Challenge

By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP On June 30 th , the Department of Energy announced the Better Buildings Challenge , a public-private partnership that seeks to solicit large-scale commitments and provide financing and technical assistance for retrofitting...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: Department of Energy Requires States to Review and Possibly Update Their Building Energy Codes

By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP The Department of Energy recently published two final determinations that will require states to review and possibly update their residential and commercial building energy efficiency codes. Pursuant to a July 19 final determination...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: Dept. of Energy and ASHRAE Sign Memorandum of Agreement to Develop Energy Efficiency Standards for Buildings

By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP On July 25, 2011, the Department of Energy (DOE) and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) announced that they had signed a memorandum of agreement stating that they will work...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: Department of Energy Will Use Full-Fuel-Cycle Analysis When Determining Energy Conservation Standards for Appliances

By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP On August 18, 2011, the Department of Energy said in a policy statement (Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products and Certain Commercial and Industrial Equipment: Statement of Policy for Adopting Full-Fuel-Cycle Analyses...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: Court Refuses to Dismiss Lawsuit Concerning PACE Program in California

By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP A federal court in California recently issued a decision, California ex rel. Harris v. Fed. Hous. Fin. Agency, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96235 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 26, 2011) , partially denying a motion to dismiss in a case concerning...

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing: Recent Controversy and Litigation

By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP There is a continuing controversy over Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing, which provides loans for improving energy efficiency in buildings. Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing has been challenged in...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: President Directs Federal Agencies to Enter Into $2 Billion Worth of Energy Efficiency Contracts for Buildings

By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP On December 2, 2011, President Barack Obama directed federal agencies to enter into at least $2 billion worth of contracts over the next two years to improve government buildings' energy efficiency. According to a Presidential...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: NYC Department of City Planning Introduces Zone Green

By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP Zoning laws can sometimes make it more difficult for building owners to construct new green buildings or make existing ones more energy efficient. The New York City Department of City Planning has attempted to address this issue...

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: Urban Green Council Releases Report Finding That Green Codes Task Force’s Recommendations Have Reduced Greenhouse Gas Emissions And Saved Energy

By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP On February 2, 2012, the Urban Green Council released a report finding that New York City is on track to meet its goal of lowering carbon emissions, energy consumption, and waste by following recommendations of the Green Codes...