Despite a Republican majority control an energy efficiency bill managed to get through the Senate. The bipartisan bill named the Portman Shaheen Energy Efficiency Bill (S 535) focuses on government buildings, grid enabled water heaters and commercial tenants. The bill was authored by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) who have been trying to secure approval for energy efficiency legislation for years. It managed to squeak through the Senate on March 27 and it will now go to the House for consideration when they reconvene in mid-April.
The bill was cosponsored by Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and includes a bipartisan provision authored by Ayotte and Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) and includes “Tenant Star” certification. This provision provides incentives for tenants in commercial buildings to reduce energy consumption. This provision passed the House of Representatives last year.
The new Senate bill exempts thermal storage water heaters from upcoming energy standards.