Bipartisan Legislation Will Save Energy, Protect the Environment, Save Consumers Money, Create Jobs
WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 22, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) today announced that their Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015 has passed the House and is now headed to the President for signature. This bill, which passed the Senate in March, contains key energy efficiency provisions that will strengthen the economy and reduce pollution.
“Our targeted energy efficiency bill has garnered widespread support because of a simple fact – it is good for the economy and good for the environment,” said Portman. “This is an important part of our energy plan for America that can help bring jobs back, help make our manufacturers more competitive, and actually help to protect the environment. I’m pleased that it is now headed to the President for signature, and will continue to work for passage of my larger bill and a national energy strategy that boosts American workers while protecting the environment at the same time.”
“At long last, Congress is finally going to deliver bipartisan energy efficiency legislation to the President’s desk,” said Shaheen. “On the bill’s merits – creating jobs, saving consumers money and reducing pollution – it was never a hard sell. The tough part was convincing Washington to not play politics with a good idea. But persistence has paid off and this legislation is a small but significant victory over legislative gridlock. I will continue to work across the aisle to pass more common sense energy efficiency proposals and get Congress back in the business of legislating for New Hampshire and the American people.”
“Electric co-ops across the country appreciate the incredible perseverance of Senators Portman, Shaheen, and many others for their leadership in passing S. 535,” said National Rural Electric Cooperative CEO Jo Ann Emerson. “The bill helps save consumers money, promotes reliability of the grid, and helps integrate renewable energy – truly a win-win-win piece of legislation.”
“This bill is a great example of how we can achieve greater energy efficiency in buildings without imposing costly mandates,” said Alan Scott, principal of AFS Inc., a multifamily developer from Ohio and a member of the NAHB Multifamily Council Board of Trustees. “The Tenant Star Program will certify and recognize tenants who voluntarily agree to take steps that conserve energy. Builders and owners of multifamily buildings often pay for all utility expenses, but can’t make a lot of energy-use decisions on their own.”
“Tenant Star is a triple win that will spur the economy by creating jobs, enhancing energy security, and preserving our environment by cutting greenhouse gases,” said Jeffrey D. DeBoer, President and CEO of The Real Estate Roundtable. “It will boost innovation in the real estate sector and go a long way to help ensure that our country’s commercial and multifamily stock – and the separate spaces leased within them – are at the vanguard of advances in technology and energy conservation. The Tenant Star program will allow building owners to attract financiers, investors, and tenants in the increasingly competitive national and global markets for real estate.”
The Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015 includes three 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 that federally-leased buildings without Energy Star labels benchmark and disclose their energy usage data, where practical.
Text of the legislation can be found here.
Portman and Shaheen introduced their larger energy efficiency bill, the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act, earlier this year. It is scheduled to receive a hearing in the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on April 30th.