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08/01/2012 05:29 PM     print story email story  

New Hampshire Senator Shaheen's Energy Efficiency Crusade News

What does energy efficiency have to do with cybersecurity?

Not much, but that didn't stop Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen from proposing her sweeping national energy efficiency legislation as an amendment to Senator Joe Lieberman's Cybersecurity Act earlier this week.

In fact, Shaheen (D-NH) has pledged to tack the bipartisan "Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2011" (S. 1000), which she has co-sponsored with Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio), onto every Senate bill called to the floor this session, reports The Hill.

The bill would help the US move toward a national building code, finance energy efficiency upgrades throughout the economy and train workers to be proficient in energy efficiency practices. It passed the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources by an 18-3 vote in July, and has picked up support from the Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and ranking member Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

An analysis by American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy estimates that the bill could reduce consumers’ net energy costs $4 billion annually and add 80,000 jobs by 2020.

"This is the fourth bill that we’ve filed an amendment on, and we’re going to keep doing that to try and raise attention to the fact that this is legislation that has bipartisan support that we think should come to the floor because we think it could make a difference," Shaheen told The Hill.

The House is considering similar legislation that doesn't go as far as the Senate version. That bill was discussed by the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power and Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations last month.

“There is a prospect that that could actually get through the House so we could get to a committee and conference them, and we could potentially get legislation then,” Shaheen told The Hill.  

The US lags well behind all but three of the world's major economies in energy efficiency, according to a ranking recently published by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

The Shaheen-Portman bill, originally proposed in May 2011, has been held up largely due to disagreement on how to pay for it in. Among specific measures it calls for:

  • The development of National Model Building Codes by amending the Energy Conservation and Production Act (ECPA) and direct the Department of Energy (DOE) to support development of national model building energy codes, including those encouraging goals of zero-net-energy for new residential and commercial buildings by 2030
  • Establish training centers to build skills in energy efficiency technologies
  • An expanded DOE loan guarantee program for efficiency upgrades
  • Zero-interest loans to rural public utilities and electric cooperatives to support low-interest energy efficiency loans for customers.
  • Updated efficiency standards on outdoor lighting, residential heating and cooling systems, residential appliances, and other appliance products based on agreements between manufacturers and efficiency advocates.

Read the summary of the Shaheen-Portman bill:


Reader Comments (3)


Date Posted:
08/02/12 04:22 PM

All this will do is cost jobs, because compliance with anything the Fed government does cost so much more money to implement, and generally is a stupid thing to due. Maybe if the current FED and STATE codes were actually enforced. But I guess its easier to just throw out ill-thought, unfunded ideas against the was. It it sticks, it goes on your resume; otherwise you'll come out like you've been against it all along. Keep your political ego's in DC; when they affect the public, you cost us dearly.

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Donald Delande

Date Posted:
08/02/12 04:49 PM

Amemdments that have nothing to do with the primary bill should NEVER be allowed. It's a politicians way of slowing the original bill or getting something approved that can not stand on it's own. Another great idea by our wonderfull elected officials. Vote them ALL out.

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Ron Benenati,

Date Posted:
08/03/12 02:04 PM

Personally, as a matter of principle I am inclined to agree with you, Donald. Though, as pro-fossil electeds have trashed so many unrelated bills with anti-EPA, pro-Keystone, and the likes legislation amendments...I did enjoy reading about this. I like to see my point championed along with those opposed until we can get to a place where we have our law makers return to addressing individual issues and solutions.

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