Senate Energy Committee Advances Shaheen-Portman Energy Efficiency Bill

**The Committee also approved Shaheen legislation to reduce energy use in federal facilities**

March 30, 2017

(Washington, DC) – Today, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources advanced several energy efficiency proposals championed by U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). The committee approved Shaheen’s Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (ESIC) cosponsored by U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) and the Energy Savings Through Public-Private Partnerships Act of 2017, legislation to encourage the use of Energy Savings Performance Contracts in federal facilities.

“Energy efficiency is the cheapest and fastest way to address our energy challenges in New Hampshire and around the country,” Senator Shaheen said. “The bipartisan proposals approved today represent more common sense opportunities for Congress to create jobs, save money and reduce energy costs for consumers. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass this legislation in the Senate.”

The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (ESIC) contains key energy efficiency policy reforms that will strengthen the economy and reduce pollution. Components of a previous version of the bill were signed into law by President Obama in April 2015 and are already helping individuals and companies use less energy, creating jobs and reducing emissions. Taken together, these bipartisan reforms include common-sense initiatives that will create nearly 200,000 new jobs and help the economy by saving consumers $16.2 billion annually in reduced energy costs by 2030. 

The Energy Savings Through Public-Private Partnerships Act of 2017 encourages the use of Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPCs) and Utility Energy Savings Contracts (UESCs) in federal buildings. Mandatory federal audits already outline energy savings projects for federal facilities aimed at reducing energy consumption and saving tax dollars; however, federal agencies are currently not required to implement these changes. This legislation changes that and would allow projects to be paid for by ESPCs or UESCs. ESPCs and UESCs are innovative public-private partnerships in which private companies use their own money and resources to make energy efficiency upgrades to federal buildings. In exchange for making energy efficient upgrades, those private companies receive a portion of the money saved as a result of the increased efficiency in federal buildings. ESPCs and UESCs create private sector jobs upgrading the federal government’s estimated three billion square feet of office space at no real cost to taxpayers.