Congress Passes Bipartisan Energy Efficiency Bill

On April 21, 2015, the U.S. Congress passed a modest energy efficiency bill with bipartisan support. The bill—which was passed by voice votes in both chambers of Congress—is expected to be signed by President Obama.

Key Details

  • Key provisions in the bill:
    • Direct federal agencies that lease space without an Energy Star label to include a lease provision that requires the space’s energy efficiency be measured against a nationally recognized benchmark
    • Direct the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to develop a voluntary “Tenant Star” program to recognize tenants in commercial buildings that voluntarily achieve high levels of efficiency
    • Amend the Energy Policy and Conservation Act to provide standards for grid-enabled water heaters for use in electric thermal storage or demand response programs
  • The bill sponsors, Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) and Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), have been working on a broader range of energy efficiency measures since 2011

Implications

Energy efficiency is an economic and popular option garnering strong bipartisan support. The passage of this bill, despite long-standing Congressional gridlock on other topics, is a clear indicator that the trends are in favor of energy efficiency as a building block of future energy plans.

Additional Information

This report is part of the Clean Tech & Sustainability Minute series. To view all featured Minutes, please click here.

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Contributing Authors

Paul Quinlan Clean Tech Manager

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