Shaheen-Portman Energy Efficiency Bill Passes Senate

March 31, 2015 By Linda Hardesty

senateSenators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) finally were able to pass some energy efficiency legislation in the Senate, which has approved the S 535, Energy Efficiency Improvement Act authored by Shaheen and Portman and cosponsored by Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH). The bill includes a bipartisan provision authored by Ayotte and Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) that incentivizes tenants of commercial buildings to voluntarily reduce energy consumption.

The legislation would create a new voluntary “Tenant Star” certification to recognize tenants who operate energy efficient leased spaces. The US House of Representatives passed Tenant Star legislation last year to encourage commercial building tenants to save energy, but the legislation never became law.

The new Senate bill also exempts thermal storage water heaters from upcoming energy standards.

The bill must now be approved by the House, which reconvenes in mid-April. Since the House passed similar legislation last year, the bill has a good chance of moving forward. Portman and Shaheen have tenaciously worked to try and pass some kind of energy efficiency legislation.

Photo: US Senate via Shutterstock

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