In my last post, I talked about two energy bills making progress in the House and Senate for the first time in a long time. Today, I am happy to report that one of those bills is continuing to move forward.

The Portman-Shaheen Bill is one that has been around for as long as I have been tracking legislation in Washington. Known as the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (S. 2137), the bipartisan bill introduced by Rob Portman (R-OH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) was recently approved by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Now it’s headed to the Senate floor for consideration.

What will this bill do?

According to a release by Senator Shaheen’s office, some of the key points (among others) include:

  • Strengthening national building codes to make homes and buildings more energy-efficient, while working with states and the private sector to make the code writing process more transparent;
  • Training the next generation of workers in energy-efficient commercial building design; and
  • Directing the Department of Energy to work with the private sector to encourage research and development of energy-efficient technologies.

The one thing that the bill does not include is the “Schrader-Flores” language supported by the Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA), clarifying the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) role in the building code development process. The bill introduced by Congressmen Kurt Schrader (D-OR) and Bill Flores (R-TX), known as the Energy Savings and Building Efficiency Act (H.R. 3586), is currently sitting in the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

The View from Here

The view from here is that, first, it is still encouraging to finally see energy efficiency legislation making progress. Second, even without the Schrader-Flores language, this bill is still good for our industry and consumers as building code development and transparency, worker training and advanced research and development are all critical as we move forward.

What’s your view? Email me directly at Eric.Jackson@Quanex.com.

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