Bipartisan energy efficiency legislation authored by U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) passed the U.S. Senate. The Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015 contains key energy efficiency provisions that will strengthen the economy and reduce pollution.
The provisions that passed come from H.R. 2126, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives with overwhelming support last Congress.
“Energy efficiency has received such strong bipartisan support because it’s the cheapest and fastest way to address our nation’s energy challenges,” says Shaheen. “We passed a bill that will create jobs, save consumers money, and reduce pollution in a smart, effective and affordable way. Energy efficiency holds enormous potential for America’s energy future and the Senate has taken an important step toward realizing that future.”
“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,” says Portman. “I’m pleased that these key portions of our energy efficiency bill passed the Senate.”
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.