Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Rob Portman have reintroduced the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act. The bill is designed to provide non-mandatory support for states looking to adopt more energy efficient building practices and encourage industrial efficiency. In addition, the legislation provides for a private sector commercial buildings energy efficiency financing initiative, and clarifies that utility energy service contracts can be used to build infrastructure for natural gas vehicles.
More specifically, the bill would:
- Place obligations on the federal government, the largest energy user in the country, to adopt energy saving working practice.
- Encourage agencies to share best practice for advanced metering technologies in application to the better management of energy usage in government buildings.
- Allow federal agencies to utilise already existent funds for the updating of buildings in line with the most recent building efficiency standard.
- Support the building of infrastructure for natural gas vehicle fuelling and electric vehicles charging.
- Strengthen national building codes, making new homes and commercial buildings more efficient.
- Encourage private sector investment in commercial, industrial and municipal building efficiency upgrades and renovation by expanding the existent Department of Energy (DOE) loan program to include efficiency retrofits.
- Work with states to set up a loan program to help finance efficiency upgrades for manufacturers looking to reduce energy use and become more competitive.
- Encourage the DOE to work with private sector partners, investing in research and development, and the commercialisation of innovative energy saving technology for industrial applications.
- Establish a DOE program, SupplySTAR, aimed at making companies’ supply chains more energy efficient.
Adapted from press release by Emma McAleavey.
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