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Senate Energy Committee Advances Shaheen's Bipartisan Energy Efficiency Proposals

(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 cosponsored by U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), as well as her Smart Manufacturing Leadership Act and key provisions from her Clean Distributed Energy Grid Integration Act. A targeted energy efficiency bill co-sponsored by Senator Portman was signed into law by President Obama in April, making it the first energy bill to be signed into law this Congress.

“When the President signed my energy efficiency legislation into law earlier this year, it proved that Washington can make progress on addressing our nation’s energy needs when politics are set aside,” said Shaheen. “The proposals approved today represent more common sense opportunities for Congress to create jobs, save money and reduce pollution. 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, also known as “Portman-Shaheen,” contains provisions that would create a national strategy to increase the use of energy efficiency through a number of initiatives, including advancing building energy codes, supporting the deployment of energy-efficient technologies in schools and companies, and encouraging the adoption and implementation of energy-saving policies within the federal government. The bill uses a variety of low-cost tools to help energy users become more efficient while helping the country’s largest energy user – the federal government – reduce its energy use through the use of energy-efficient technology.

Shaheen’s Smart Manufacturing Leadership Act, cosponsored by Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), provides assistance to small- and medium-sized U.S. manufacturers in adopting what’s known as “smart manufacturing technologies.” Smart manufacturing uses technology to integrate all aspects of manufacturing, allowing for real-time management of productivity, energy and costs across factories and companies. These advanced technologies are set to transform the manufacturing sector, but due to a lack of staff resources, expertise and capital constraints, they have only been implemented by mostly large manufacturing facilities.

The Clean Distributed Energy Grid Integration Act, identifies and addresses obstacles limiting the use of clean energy technologies on the grid, by collecting information on regulatory obstacles and paving the way for research to overcome technical challenges. Specifically, the Department of Energy would prepare a report on the current status of clean energy grid integration, solicit research on technical roadblocks, work with stakeholders to address regulatory obstructions, and create a competitive, three-year grant for successful demonstrations of intelligent grid integration of clean energy systems.