(Washington, D.C.) — U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH), authors of the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (S. 1000), today welcomed the introduction of bipartisan energy efficiency legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Smart Energy Act (H.R. 4017), is sponsored by Congressman Charles F. Bass (NH-02), and co-sponsored by Reps. Jim Matheson (UT-02), Peter Welch (VT-AL), John Barrow (GA-12), Robert Dold (IL-10) and Michael Fitzpatrick (PA-08).

“The House introduction of the Smart Energy Act is a positive development on the energy front and brings us closer to seeing movement on our legislation,” said Portman. “I’m glad that like the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act, the House bill has bipartisan support. Both initiatives will enable American companies to use the savings from adopting energy efficient technologies to expand operations, create jobs, and lessen our dependence on foreign sources of energy.”

“I’m glad to see a bipartisan energy efficiency bill in the House,” Shaheen said. “We now have bipartisan vehicles in both chambers for advancing energy efficiency, which is the cheapest, fastest way to start addressing our energy needs.”

The Shaheen-Portman bill would establish a national energy efficiency strategy to increase the use of existing energy efficiency technologies in the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors of our economy.

Some highlights of the legislation include:

  • Boosts private sector investment in building efficiency upgrades.
  • Assists manufacturers in reducing energy use and becoming more competitive by establishing a state-based revolving financing program to help facilitate efficiency upgrades.
  • Works with states to strengthen national model building codes, to make new homes and commercial buildings more energy efficient.
  • Requires the federal government – the single largest energy user in the country – to adopt energy saving techniques for computers, better building standards, and smart metering technology.

Introduced last May, the legislation has garnered national support from more than 100 businesses, trade associations, and efficiency advocates.  In September, S. 1000 passed the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee with strong bipartisan support by a vote of 18 to 3.