Shaheen-Portman Energy Bill Back Before Congress

February 17th, 2017 by Editor

This week, senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) reintroduced the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act, better known as the Shaheen-Portman energy bill.

Shaheen-Portman has been introduced in the previous three congresses. The bill was part of last year’s comprehensive energy legislation that passed the Senate 85-12 in April but fell short of final passage before the end of the 2016 session.

“We do think that an energy bill has a very high chance of passing at some point in this Congress,” said Kevin McKenney the WDMA’s director of government affairs. “Whether it’s Portman-Shaheen or another comprehensive bill that builds momentum remains to be seen. Either way, we will be working with Congress to ensure good policy emerges.”

“This is exactly the kind of legislation Americans want Congress to pass – bipartisan, common-sense policy that saves taxpayers money and drives economic activity and job creation,” said Kateri Callahan, president of the Alliance to Save Energy. “There are nearly 2.2 million energy-efficiency jobs across the country – in manufacturing, installation, construction, engineering and other sectors. We added 130,000 efficiency jobs last year alone, and the policies in this legislation will only boost those numbers moving forward. This bill should have passed five years ago, so I urge leaders in both parties to put an end to the gridlock and finally move it across the finish line.”

Here’s a closer look at what Shaheen-Portman would mean for buildings, manufacturers and the federal government:

BUILDINGS

-Strengthen national model building codes to make new homes and commercial buildings more energy efficient while working with states and private industry to make the code-writing process more transparent;

-Train the next generation of workers in energy-efficient commercial building design and operation through university-based Building Training and Research Assessment Centers, and;

-Require home mortgages to account for energy efficiency in the mortgage appraisal/underwriting process.

MANUFACTURERS

-Direct the Department of Energy (DOE) to work closely with private sector partners to encourage research, development and commercialization of innovative energy efficient technology and processes for industrial applications;

-Help manufacturers reduce energy use and become more competitive by incentivizing the use of more energy efficient electric motors and transformers; and

– Establish a DOE program – SupplySTAR – to help make companies’ supply chains more efficient.

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

-Allow federal agencies to use existing funds to update plans for new federal buildings, using the most current building efficiency standards.

According to Senators Portman and Shaheen, a study by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) estimates that the bill “will create more than 190,000 jobs, save consumers $16.2 billion a year, and cut CO2 emissions and other air pollutants by the equivalent of taking 22 million cars off the road – all by 2030.”

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