Senate Passes Key Energy Efficiency Provisions from Shaheen-Portman Bill, Appliance Standards

On Sept. 22, 2012, the Senate unanimously passed key provisions of two major energy efficiency bills as amendments to the Enabling Energy Savings Innovations Act (H.R. 4850).

The amendments included industrial and federal agency energy efficiency provisions from the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (S. 1000), authored by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio). The amendments also included appliance standards provisions from the Implementation of National Consensus Appliance Agreements Act (S. 398), authored by Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.).

Alliance to Save Energy Calls for House Action in Lame Duck

Callahan, Shaheen, Portman

The Enabling Energy Savings Innovations Act now goes to the House, which will have the chance to act on it during the post-election lame duck session.

“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,” said Alliance President Kateri Callahan. 

What Was Passed

Amendments to the overarching Enabling Energy Savings Innovations Act include the following elements from the Shaheen-Portman national energy efficiency strategy and Bingaman's appliance standards bill:

Shaheen & Portman's Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (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

Energy Efficiency at Federal Agencies

  • 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 

Bingaman's Implementation of National Consensus Appliance Agreements Act (S. 398):

Strengthening the federal appliance efficiency program with:

  • Technical corrections and specific fixes to recently enacted standards
  • Uniform treatment of tank and tankless water heaters
  • Clarification of periodic review of commercial equipment standards and the Department of Energy's response to petitions regarding standards

Paving the Way to Full Passage of S.1000, S.398

Passage of key provisions in the bills authored by Shaheen, Portman, and Bingaman (all Alliance to Save Energy Honorary Vice-Chairs) demonstrates that national energy efficiency policies attract widespread political and public support.

“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,” Callahan said in an Alliance press release.

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.