U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) yesterday introduced bipartisan legislation that would enact a national energy efficiency strategy. Gallon Letter does not often report on the introduction of Bills into Congress because, under the US system, what comes out often bears little resemblance to what went in! But this Bill appears to have a high degree of bipartisan support and good potential for being passed in a recognizable form.
Among the initiatives contained in the Bill are the following:
- strengthens national building codes and creates a goal of achieving net-zero-energy building by 2030.
- allows rural electric utilities to provide loans to customers for energy efficiency upgrades to their homes.
- expands the existing Department of Energy Loan Guarantee Program for commercial, industrial and municipal building energy retrofits.
- expands energy efficiency standards for household appliances, outdoor lighting, and residential HVAC systems based on agreements between energy efficiency advocates and manufacturers.
- helps states establish a revolving loan program for energy efficiency improvements in manufacturing.
- encourages the DOE to work with private sector partners to invest in the research, development and commercialization of innovative energy efficient technology and processes for industrial applications.
- establishes a DOE program to help make companies’ supply chains more efficient.
- requires the federal government to adopt energy saving techniques for its own computers.
Details of the Bill are available at http://shaheen.senate.gov/news/press/release/?id=52fbb7ba-d513-4482-a7a2-1aa57f40a76f