National energy efficiency legislation has been introduced in the US Senate that would help the US move toward a national building code, finance energy efficiency upgrades throughout the economy, and train a workforce proficient in implementing efficiency technologies.
The bipartisan bill, The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2011" (S. 1000) is co-sponsored by Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH).
The bill would create "A national energy efficiency strategy which can make our economy more competitive, start addressing our nation's energy challenges and create private sector jobs today. It is effective, it is bipartisan and it is affordable," says Shaheen.
The bill would:
* Support the development of National Model Building Codes.
It would amend the Energy Conservation and Production Act (ECPA) to direct the Department of Energy (DOE) to support development of national model building energy codes.
DOE would establish goals of zero-net-energy for new residential and commercial buildings by 2030, to be achieved through a variety of policies.
* Establish training centers to build an employment skillbase in efficient technologies. DOE would establish Building Training and Assessment Centers at institutions of higher learning.
* Boost private sector investment in building efficiency upgrades by expanding the Department of Energy (DOE) Loan Guarantee program.
* Direct the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to make zero-interest loans to rural public utilities and electric cooperatives to support low-interest energy efficiency loans for customers.
* Update efficiency standards on outdoor lighting, residential heating and cooling systems, residential appliances, and other appliance products based on agreements between manufacturers and efficiency advocates.
* Require federal agencies to use advanced tools that save energy, such as computer hardware, energy efficiency software, and power management tools.
Read the summary of the bill: