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The Tenant Star Program

Posted by Doug Root on July 07, 2015

On April 30, 2015, President Obama signed S. 535, the Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015. This new law requires various Federal actions to increase energy and water efficiency in commercial buildings.


Two provisions that could impact lighting retrofits are:

1.promoting commercial building energy-use benchmarking and disclosure

2.creating a voluntary Tenant Star program to promote rental property energy efficiency

Both of these measures could have modest impacts on energy-efficiency investments, including more energy efficient lighting investments.


The Tenant Star Program will be run by the US EPA, similar to the current ENERGY STAR Program for buildings. It will encourage tenants in office buildings to install energy-reducing fixtures and systems. It will be the first government-endorsed label in the United States to recognize leased spaces within commercial buildings for sustainable design and operation.

President Obama signs the Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015. Image courtesy of the Alliance to Save Energy.

How can we help your building be more efficient?

As many of you know, leased spaces always experienced lower rates of efficient lighting retrofits, due to "split incentives." Property owners and property management companies don't receive the energy savings if tenants pay the electric bill, and tenants have had very little incentive to make significant capital improvements to a property that they don't own. Tenant Star offers federal government recognition as a new incentive to tenants who make efficiency upgrades in leased spaces.



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