Unanimous Senate Action Confirms Efficiency Measure as ‘America’s Greatest Energy Resource’

Release Date: Monday, September 24, 2012

Alliance Calls for House Action in Lame Duck

Alliance Honorary Vice-Chairs, Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), and Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) demonstrated over the weekend that national energy efficiency policies attract widespread political and public support. Their diligent pursuit of energy efficiency measures to help American businesses and consumers resulted in unanimous Senate passage of several provisions of their Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (S. 1000) and the Implementation of National Consensus Appliance Agreements Act (S.398).

Passed by Senate, Moving on to the House

The Enabling Energy Savings Innovations Act (H.R. 4850) adopted by the Senate includes industrial and federal agency energy efficiency provisions from S. 1000, which was authored by Shaheen and Portman, and appliance standards provisions from S. 398 authored by Bingaman. The bill now goes to the House, which will have the chance to act on it during the post-election lame duck session.

“Sens. Shaheen, Portman, and Bingaman have won an important political victory for energy efficiency that paves the way for policy makers from both sides of the aisle to embrace energy efficiency as not only sound energy policy, but also as sound economic and sound national security policy,” commented Alliance President Kateri Callahan.

Callahan, Shaheen, Portman

“To borrow from the late, great astronaut Neil Armstrong, passage of H.R. 4850 is but a small step toward greater efficiency in our economy but could prove a giant leap forward in terms of galvanizing future action on energy efficiency by the Congress.” 

The Alliance and its allies will continue to work to advance all of the provisions from S. 1000 and S. 398 that did not make it into the bill approved by the Senate this weekend.

Callahan noted, “Securing bold Senate action on energy efficiency in the lame duck session would be a wonderful ‘swan song’ to cap the long legacy of important national energy efficiency policies that Jeff Bingaman has amassed in his Senate career; and the Alliance is committed to working with bipartisan visionaries like Sens. Shaheen and Portman to realize such a ‘win’ for our country’s economy.”

Inside the Bill

The bill includes these elements from S. 1000:

Industrial Efficiency

  • Coordination of research and development on industrial efficiency
  • Study of barriers to the deployment of industrial energy efficiency
  • Study of advanced energy technology manufacturing capabilities
  • Establishment of an industrial technologies steering committee

Federal Agency Energy Efficiency

  • Clarification that funds may be used to update old project designs
  • Implementation of best practices for advanced metering
  • Requirement that federal facilities post energy and water use data
  • Study on federal data center consolidation  

The provisions from S. 398 would continue the success of the 25-year-old Department of Energy appliance efficiency program with:

  • Technical corrections and specific fixes to recent enacted standards
  • Uniform treatment of tank and tankless water heaters
  • Clarification of periodic review of commercial equipment standards and of DOE’s response to petitions regarding standards.

Media Contact: