(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Rob Portman (R-OH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) introduced the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (ESIC), which will improve energy efficiency in three key sectors – buildings, industrial, and the federal government. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Chris Coons (D-DE), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) are cosponsors of the legislation. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, residential and commercial buildings accounted for about 40 percent of total U.S. energy consumption in 2018. In addition, reports from the U.S. Department of Energy have found that the federal government is the largest single energy consumer in the country. By improving energy efficiency in these three key sectors, this legislation will help reduce emissions, protect the environment, and create jobs. The legislation also includes important provisions to reduce water usage and promote water conservation. A summary of the bill is here.
This legislation uses a variety of low-cost tools to help energy users become more efficient while making the country’s largest energy user – the federal government – reduce its energy use through the use of energy-efficient technology. The bill incentivizes the use of efficiency technologies that are commercially available today, can be widely deployed across the country, and will quickly pay for themselves through energy savings. The bill will help the United States transition to a more energy-efficient economy while driving economic growth and private-sector job creation.
Components of the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act were signed into law by President Obama in April 2015 and are already helping individuals and companies use less energy, creating jobs and reducing emissions. Taken together, these bipartisan reforms include common-sense initiatives that will create new jobs and help the economy by saving consumers billions annually in reduced energy costs.
“Energy efficiency is the cheapest and fastest way to approach our economy’s energy independence,” said Senator Shaheen. “This bill provides a path forward to making significant progress on reducing carbon emissions in order to address climate change. It’s a win for jobs, consumers and the environment. Congress should seize this opportunity. Over the last couple years the Senate has made incremental progress on energy efficiency issues, and I hope we can continue to build on those efforts. Once again, it’s a great pleasure to work with Senator Portman on energy efficiency.”
“This bill is a win-win, creating new jobs and protecting our environment—all without a single new tax or mandate,” said Senator Portman. “It would reduce our carbon emissions and give our workers in Ohio and around the country a competitive advantage by making our plants and buildings more energy efficient. It’s good news for the taxpayer, too, because it would make the federal government practice what it preaches and use energy more efficiently. And by saving consumers billions in reduced energy costs, it will help reduce the cost of living, ensuring hard-working Americans have a few dollars extra at the end of each month that they can use to pay for needed expenses, invest in their child’s college education, or save for retirement. There is a reason this bill has garnered such widespread support. The Senate should take it up as soon as possible."
“This bipartisan legislation would help bring down energy bills for Granite Staters, as well as help create jobs, address climate change, and save taxpayer dollars,” Senator Hassan said. “I’ll keep working across the aisle on commonsense measures like these to support our economy and environment alike.”
Shaheen is a champion of efforts to promote energy efficiency in the Senate. Yesterday, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) passed a number of Shaheen’s bipartisan energy efficiency legislative priorities, including her bill with Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), which Senator Hassan also cosponsored, to promote innovation, energy efficiency and economic competitiveness of American manufacturers.