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Bipartisan Legislation Introduced in U.S. Senate to Boost Energy Efficiency

Mar 31, 2015

On March 13, 2015, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) renewed their push for a national energy efficiency strategy by introducing an updated version of the Portman-Shaheen Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (ESIC). The legislation has received widespread support from both Democrats and Republicans as well as industry leaders, energy-efficiency advocates and environmental stakeholders because it reduces pollution, saves consumers money and creates jobs.

The legislation addresses:

  • Building Efficiency
  • Industrial Efficiency
  • Federal Agency Efficiency

Under Building Efficiency the bill includes provisions for:

  • Building Energy Codes
  • Worker Training and Capacity Building
  • Energy Efficiency of School Buildings
  • Energy Efficiency of Federal Buildings
  • Energy Information for Commercial Buildings

Section 433 of the bill covers the recognition of the energy performance of homes in mortgage financing. This provision was included in the SAVE Act that was introduced in the last session of Congress. The section recognizes certified RESNET HERS Raters in calculating the energy savings to be considered in the mortgage loan. The section states, “ in accordance with the Residential Energy Service Network’s Home Energy Rating System commonly known as ‘HERS’ by an individual certified by the Residential Energy Service Network.”

The legislation can be downloaded at Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act

“This bill has garnered such widespread support because of a simple fact – it is good for the economy and good for the environment,” Senator Portman said. “By establishing a national energy strategy, we can create jobs, save taxpayers billions, make manufacturers more competitive, and protect the environment. Our bill is the equivalent of taking 37 million homes off the grid, and I look forward to renewing our efforts to promote this commonsense legislation.”

“Energy efficiency is the cheapest and fastest way to address our energy challenges,” Shaheen said. “Our bipartisan bill will create jobs, save consumers billions, and drastically reduce pollution in a smart, effective and affordable way – that’s why it enjoys broad bipartisan support. A vote to pass our legislation is long overdue and I hope the overwhelming support behind this bill will help carry it through the Senate.”

The legislation is cosponsored by Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Chris Coons (D-DE), Al Franken (D-MN), John Hoeven (R-ND), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Mark Warner (D-VA), and Roger Wicker (R-MS).