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Key Provisions of Shaheen-Portman Energy Efficiency Legislation Move Ahead with Implementation of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

Over the years, Shaheen and Portman worked together to pursue different legislative avenues to secure key components of their energy efficiency legislation, which have since become law.

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) issued the following statements in response to the Department of Energy’s announcement that the administration is seeking a Request for Information (RFI) to solicit feedback from stakeholders and to inform implementation of a Shaheen-Portman provision included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which will provide $225 million to help states and localities implement updated building codes. Shaheen and Portman’s building codes provision will spur robust energy savings for years to come and help develop the next generation workforce in communities throughout the nation. Shaheen and Portman helped negotiate the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which was signed into law in November.

This Shaheen-Portman provision is a key component of the Senators’ legislation, the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (ESIC), which is hallmark energy efficiency legislation that the Senators have championed for years. A targeted version of their bill was signed into law by President Obama in 2015, and a number of provisions relating to energy efficiency in schools, industry and the federal government were signed into law as part of the Energy Act of 2020.

“It’s exciting to see these important provisions to achieve our energy efficiency aspirations being implemented, and that we’ll soon see the results in our communities from New Hampshire to Ohio and around the nation,” said Shaheen. “Energy efficiency improvements can lower utility bills, create jobs and help to stabilize energy price volatility, which is especially critical today. The Department of Energy’s announcement is a great opportunity for stakeholders to play a role in designing this program to update our building codes to be more energy efficient, and is a signal that the program is quickly getting off the ground. I appreciate Senator Portman’s partnership over the years to get this legislation over the finish line. It’s wonderful to see major components of our bill come to fruition, supporting our workforce and environment, and benefiting our communities tremendously in energy savings.”

“I am proud that the common-sense energy efficiency measures I crafted with Senator Shaheen are finally going into effect thanks to the bipartisan infrastructure law. This funding will help implement updated building codes all over the country to help lower energy costs for families and businesses while creating jobs for our economy,” said Senator Portman. “Senator Shaheen has been a valuable partner over the years in working to enact important energy efficiency policies and it has been great to see our hard work pay off. I’ve always believed we need a balanced approach to protecting our environment and reducing emissions, while also safeguarding our economy and jobs, and I’m proud that we are now putting these policies into action.”

The ESIC Act will improve energy efficiency in three key sectors – buildings, industrial and the federal government. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), residential and commercial buildings accounted for about 40 percent of total U.S. energy consumption in 2018. In addition, reports from the U.S. Department of Energy have found that the federal government is the largest single energy consumer in the country. By improving energy efficiency in these three key sectors, policy experts at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) found that when fully enacted, the ESIC Act through 2050 would save consumers more than $51 billion on their energy bills and reduce carbon emissions by 1.3 billion tons, which is the equivalent of taking nearly 280 million cars off the road for one year. A previous study from ACEEE also estimated that their legislation would add more than 100,000 jobs to the economy.   

In addition to provisions from ESIC, the bipartisan infrastructure law also includes the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Act, legislation introduced by Shaheen and Portman that will help manufacturers improve energy efficiency, create jobs and secure a more competitive position in the marketplace. By 2040, an estimate from ACEEE determined the legislation would save consumers $5 billion in energy costs and reduce carbon emissions equivalent to taking 116 million cars off the road. The bipartisan infrastructure law also included Shaheen and Portman’s Promoting American Energy Jobs Act as well as Shaheen’s Heat Efficiency through Applied Technology (HEAT) Act. Together, these bills will promote innovation, energy efficiency and economic competitiveness of American manufacturers and support the energy workforce. Shaheen added these provisions when the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources voted to advance the Energy Infrastructure Act in July 2021.