Shaheen and Portman Introduce Targeted Energy Efficiency Bill

Bipartisan Legislation will save energy, protect the environment, save consumers money, create jobs

January 08, 2015

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) today announced the introduction of the Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015, which contains key energy efficiency provisions that will strengthen the economy and reduce pollution. The senators intend to introduce the legislation as an amendment to legislation approving the Keystone XL pipeline, which the Senate will begin debating next week.  Majority Leader McConnell and Senator Lisa Murkowski, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, have made a commitment that this amendment will be the first amendment to Keystone processed on the Senate floor. 

In the coming weeks, Shaheen and Portman will also reintroduce their comprehensive and widely supported energy efficiency legislation, the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (ESIC).

The provisions introduced today come from H.R. 2126, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives with overwhelming support last Congress.

“The provisions in this targeted energy efficiency bill will save consumers and businesses money while also reducing pollution,” Shaheen said. “The bill already cleared the House with nearly 400 votes last year, and I hope it will receive similarly strong bipartisan support here in the Senate.”

“This bill has garnered such widespread support because of a simple fact – it is good for the economy and good for the environment. It’s part of an energy plan for America that can help bring the jobs back, help fix our trade deficit, help make our manufacturers more competitive, and actually help to protect the environment,” Portman said. “I’m pleased to have the opportunity to introduce key portions of our energy efficiency bill today and look forward to updating and introducing the other components later this Congress.”

The Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015 includes four simple but effective provisions that have been scored by the Congressional Budget Office to be budget neutral.  Title I establishes a voluntary, market-driven approach to aligning the interests of commercial building owners and their tenants to reduce energy consumption.  Title II exempts certain electric resistance water heaters used for demand response from pending Department of Energy regulation.  Title III requires federal agencies to coordinate with OMB, DOE, and EPA to develop an implementation strategy – that includes best practices, measurement, and verification techniques – for the maintenance, purchase, and use of energy-efficient and energy saving information technologies.  Title IV requires that federally-leased buildings without Energy Star labels benchmark and disclose their energy usage data, where practical.