• Portman-Shaheen Energy Efficiency Bill Reintroduced in Senate
  • March 15, 2017
  • Law Firm: Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky Popeo P.C. - Boston Office
  • As the 115th Congress gets underway, Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) have reintroduced the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act, better known as Portman-Shaheen. The bill is cosponsored by Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO), Susan Collins (R-ME), Chris Coons (D-DE), Al Franken (D-MN), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Mark Warner (D-VA), and Roger Wicker (R-MS).

    Portman-Shaheen was introduced in the previous three congresses with bipartisan support. The bill is aimed at using low-cost tools to make it easier for private sector energy users to become more efficient while also making the country’s largest energy user the federal government more efficient.

    The bill is focused on Buildings, Manufacturers, and the Federal Government:

    Buildings
    • Strengthens national model building codes to make new homes and commercial buildings more energy efficient while working with states and private industry to make the code-writing process more transparent.
    • Trains the next generation of workers in energy-efficient commercial building design and operation through university-based Building Training and Research Assessment Centers.
    • Streamlines available federal energy efficiency programs and financing to help improve efficiency and lower energy costs for schools.
    • Requires all federal agency issues, insured, purchased, or securitized home mortgages to account for energy efficiency in the mortgage appraisal/underwriting process.
    Manufacturers
    • Directs the Department of Energy (DOE) to work closely with private sector partners to encourage research, development, and commercialization of innovative energy efficient technology and processes for industrial applications.
    • Helps manufacturers reduce energy use and become more competitive by incentivizing the use of more energy efficient motors and transformers.
    • Establishes a DOE grant program SupplySTAR to help make companies’ supply chains more efficient.
    Federal Government
    • Requires the federal government the single largest energy user in the country to adopt energy saving techniques for computers
    • Allows federal agencies to use existing funds to update plans for new federal buildings, using the most current building efficiency standards.
    According to Senators Portman and Shaheen, a study by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) estimates that the bill “will create more than 190,000 jobs, save consumers $16.2 billion a year, and cut CO2 emissions and other air pollutants by the equivalent of taking 22 million cars off the road all by 2030.”

    Senator Portman says the “bill is a win-win, creating nearly 200,000 new jobs and protecting our environment all without a single new tax or mandate.” Senator Shaheen says the bill is “good for our economy and good for our environment that’s why it enjoys broad bipartisan support.”