Senate bill S. 761, the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2013, passed the Energy and Natural Resources Committee and is expected to be voted on by the full Senate during the week of July 29.
The bill, sponsored by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), reintroduces energy efficiency legislation that failed to be voted into law in the last Congress. Some elements of the prior version that addressed industrial and federal building efficiency were enacted into law through passage of another bill, H.R. 6582.
Major elements of S. 761 include:
- Directs the Secretary of Energy to develop national, model-building energy codes for residential and commercial buildings, and encourage and support their adoption by states and local governments.
- Establishes a program of grants to states for energy-efficiency retrofit projects.
- Establishes the “Supply Star” program to promote practices and recognize projects that use highly efficient supply chains.
- Requires the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to save energy by consolidating federal data centers.
Senator Portman’s website stated: “The bill will make our economy more productive and create jobs by incentivizing the use of energy efficiency technologies in the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors of our economy. Existing efficiency initiatives have already saved taxpayers more than $300 billion in energy bills and have reduced national energy use substantially. Our bipartisan bill takes efficiency to the next level through a variety of low-cost tools to encourage the use of efficiency technologies that will reduce costs for businesses and consumers, while making America more energy independent.