Senate Takes Up Energy Efficiency Legislation

August 7, 2013

pic-green-environmentUpon returning from recess, the Senate took up a revised version of the bipartisan Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2013 (S. 1392) (or the “Shaheen-Portman Energy Efficiency Bill”), the predecessor of which (S. 761) was approved by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee by a vote of 19-3. The bill has been on the Senate floor since last week, but is being held up by Senator David Vitter (R – La.) who is preventing the bill from moving forward unless he is able to secure a vote on his unrelated health care amendment.

Small business owners have embraced energy efficiency and sustainable practices to improve their bottom lines and as conscientious members of their communities. According to NSBA’s most recent 2011 Energy Survey, 52 percent of small business respondents said that they were very concerned with the future energy costs of running their businesses and roughly 1/3 of participants said that they had made investments in new energy efficient equipment to save on energy costs. However, finding capital to invest in new energy efficient techniques was and still is a significant impediment with 40 percent citing available capital as the primary obstacle to making their business more energy efficient. 

According to a recent study, the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act is projected to create an estimated 136,000 new jobs by 2025, and achieve annual savings of $13.7 billion and reduce C02 and other greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of taking 22 million cars off the road by the year 2030. By strengthening model building codes, providing technical assistance and education, and incentivizing industry to make voluntary improvements and investments to increase supply chain productivity and/or purchase new, high efficiency motors, motor systems, or transformers, this bill would significantly reduce energy use and costs, help create jobs, and promote energy independence. As such, NSBA supports S. 1392 and looks forward to working with Members and their staffs to ensure that this legislation is enacted.  

NSBA will continue to update members as new information becomes available.