Alliance Praises Bipartisan Senate Energy Bill for Strengthening Building Energy Codes, Increasing Industrial Energy Efficiency | Alliance to Save Energy

Alliance Praises Bipartisan Senate Energy Bill for Strengthening Building Energy Codes, Increasing Industrial Energy Efficiency

Release Date: Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Washington, D.C., June 17, 2009 – The Alliance to Save Energy today commended the bipartisan leaders of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee for reporting out a comprehensive energy bill that includes strengthened building energy codes that would save $8.6 billion in residential and commercial properties' energy costs by 2020 (based on 2006 energy prices), among other important energy efficiency provisions.

Alliance President Kateri Callahan praised the committee leaders for reaching across party lines to forge a bipartisan consensus on many key elements of the bill and called on the full Senate to provide bipartisanship support for these and other energy- and money-saving elements when it reaches the Senate floor.

“Energy efficiency has once again been an issue on which members of Congress can reach across party lines to address our nation's energy problems,” Callahan said. “The bipartisan cooperation demonstrated in crafting this bill is a model for other energy and climate initiatives,” she added.

“The Alliance strongly supports the Senate energy bill's stricter energy-savings targets for national model residential and commercial building codes – 30 percent in 2010 and 50 percent after 2016 – as well as the significant increase in federal funding to help states with code compliance,” said Callahan. “The more stringent targets will deliver substantial energy and monetary savings in newly constructed commercial and residential buildings.

“Provisions relating to industrial energy efficiency would contribute to greater U.S. industrial competitiveness by enlarging the successful U.S. Department of Energy's Industrial Assessment Centers and utilizing innovative financing mechanisms and public-private partnerships to encourage both enhanced research and development and increased implementation of energy-efficient manufacturing technologies,” she continued.

“The Alliance congratulates Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) and Ranking Minority Member Lisa Murkowksi (R-Alaska) for their determination to find common ground on many of the elements of this bill,” Callahan added. “We urge the Senate to carry on in that bipartisan spirit when the bill reaches the floor.”

The Alliance also supports the bill's provisions for building retrofit programs that would improve energy efficiency and create model energy performance labels for commercial and residential buildings; new standards and improvements in DOE's standard-setting process; and financing mechanisms like the Clean Energy Deployment Administration, which will help to commercialize new energy technologies.