Business & Efficiency Leaders Praise Portman, Shaheen Legislation to Reduce Emissions & Spur Economic Growth

July 18, 2019 | Press Releases

WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), along with Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Chris Coons (D-DE), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Michael Bennet (D-CO), and Mark Warner (D-VA), introduced the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (ESIC), which will improve energy efficiency in three key sectors – buildings, industrial, and the federal government. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, residential and commercial buildings accounted for about 40 percent of total U.S. energy consumption in 2018.  In addition, reports from the U.S. Department of Energy have found that the federal government is the largest single energy consumer in the country. By improving energy efficiency in these three key sectors, this legislation will help reduce emissions, protect the environment, and create jobs. The legislation also includes important initiatives to reduce water usage and promote water conservation. The following are supportive statements from business and efficiency leaders who are backing the legislation:

“Senators Portman and Shaheen have revamped their bill to use some of the best tools available to use energy more efficiently. These policies would strengthen the economy while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It’s a better-than-ever plan to accelerate energy efficiency, and it’s time to get it across the finish line. It’s too expensive to keep leaving these energy savings sitting on the table,” said Alliance to Save Energy President Jason Hartke.

In the midst of scorched-earth partisan battles, we commend Senators Rob Portman and Jeanne Shaheen for introducing an energy efficiency bill that stands out as a commonsense, bipartisan solution. The Portman-Shaheen bill uses technology and best practices to save energy in homes, commercial buildings, and industry. The bill would result in better building energy codes, more aid to small manufacturing plants, and mortgage lending that recognizes the value of efficiency in homes. These are tangible energy efficiency solutions that transform waste into wealth by saving Americans money on their bills, all while improving the environment and the economy,” said Steven Nadel, Executive Director, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.

“When it comes to sustainability and climate change, manufacturers believe in effective action to move our country forward and Portman-Shaheen is a great example of serious legislation that will help do just that,” said Ross Eisenberg, vice president of energy and resources policy at the National Association of Manufacturers. “Technologies produced by U.S. companies that reduce energy consumption are readily available today, and this bipartisan legislation reduces barriers to their implementation. Portman-Shaheen is incentive-based legislation that has enjoyed broad support in the Senate and in the business community. It should be considered and passed swiftly in Congress so manufacturers across the country can better leverage energy efficiency technologies to improve their operations and their continued environmental stewardship.”

For decades, homebuilders have struggled to find a way to help home buyers afford the upfront costs of energy efficient features which will save them hundreds of dollars on their annual utility bills.  This bill is transformational because it solves that problem by allowing  homeowners to more easily afford energy efficient features, it will save them money every month and it will significantly reduce overall energy consumption,” said Ken Gear, CEO of Leading Builders of America.

“Energy efficiency in the building envelope is a critical to saving energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and it should be part of any energy bill that seeks to balance environmental and economic priorities.  We believe the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act achieves that balance by enabling and promoting the use of high-value insulation materials to achieve these important objectives,” said Robert D. McArver, Head of Government Affairs, North America, Covestro LLC.

“The Energy Savings and Industrial Competiveness (ESIC) Act is exactly the kind of smart, forward-looking policy that will help building owners respond to our modern, evolving economy,” said Jeffrey D. DeBoer, President and CEO of The Real Estate Roundtable.  “The needs of business tenants have changed dramatically since the turn of the century to power the data centers, IT, and communications systems upon which our workforce depends.  Building owners are meeting their tenants’ 24/7 energy demands while constructing and managing their assets more efficiently – and reducing their carbon footprints.  The ESIC Act will allow our sector to reach even higher levels of building performance.  The bill will bring greater transparency and import consideration of small business impacts to the energy codes process.  It will encourage appraisers to account for energy efficient investments when determining a building’s fair market value.  And importantly, the ESIC Act will drive the collection of reliable national data on energy consumed by U.S. real estate and the people who live, work, play and heal in our commercial building infrastructure.” 

“The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act will foster reduced emissions and operating costs, a win-win for business. The Chamber strongly supports its enactment and we applaud Senators Portman and Shaheen for their continued dedication and steadfast leadership on this issue. Increasing our energy efficiency ultimately means producing more with less, which in turn reduces emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gasses. Efficiency gains improve U.S. productivity, benefiting all sectors of our economy while simultaneously addressing climate change,” said Christopher Guith, Acting President of the Global Energy Institute at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

“Energy efficiency is the most effective action that can be taken to address climate change and reduce toxic air emissions. An energy efficient building also means lower utility bills and increased comfort for occupants.  ESIC provides the roadmap for improving how the Federal government helps states, local governments and the private sector more fully take advantage of the benefits provided by improving the efficiency of our nation’s building stock,” said Curt Rich, President and CEO, North American Insulation Manufacturers Association

ACC applauds Senators Portman and Shaheen for continuing to champion this important, bipartisan legislation. The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness (ESIC) Act will help drive energy efficiency improvement across the economy. The chemistry industry is part of the solution: Using our products, manufacturers are creating the technologies that empower Americans to save energy. It’s one of the many ways chemistry is the science behind sustainability. In addition, energy efficiency is one of the cheapest ways to help manufacturers be more competitive in global markets,” said Cal Dooley, President and CEO, American Chemistry Council.

We want to thank Senators’ Portman and Shaheen for their continued leadership in promoting this energy efficiency legislation.  If enacted, it will move the nation and our states forward to increase our efficiency in homes and businesses and help advance solutions that leverage our energy efficiency resources and innovation.  NASEO wants to see this legislation move forward in 2019.  This is a bipartisan issue,” said David Terry, Executive Director of the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO).

“BOMA International is proud to support the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act, which serves as a testament to the intersection between commercial real estate and energy efficiency,” said BOMA International President and Chief Operating Officer Henry H. Chamberlain, APR, FASAE, CAE.  “We commend Senators Portman and Shaheen for working across party lines and for bringing a wide range of stakeholders together, proving that business interests and environmental objectives are not mutually exclusive.”

“American homes, buildings, and industrial facilities are electrifying, and doing so efficiently. Using energy wisely allows our economy to produce more value at a lower cost with fewer emissions. The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) applauds Senators Portman and Shaheen for their leadership in introducing the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2019,” said NEMA President and CEO Kevin Cosgriff. “The 21st century future will be digital, connected, and electric, as the two sponsors wisely surmise. This bill will promote important energy programs and activities to ensure that U.S. buildings and infrastructure are safe, reliable and efficient in this modernized future.” 

“The National Association of Energy Service Companies (NAESCO) thanks Senators Portman and Shaheen for the introduction of Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness (ESIC) Act. We support the bill because we believe that it will deliver benefits that are multiples of its modest cost. We take particular notice of the provisions to continue the effort to reduce energy waste in federal buildings, to improve the energy performance of America’s schools, to establish the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) in law, and to mandate that the EPA and the EIA coordinate their efforts to develop a comprehensive database of the energy use of US commercial buildings. We look forward to working with Senators Portman and Shaheen, as well as the other Senate sponsors of ESIC, to encourage the Congress to pass this important legislation” said Timothy D. Unruh, Ph.D., PE, CEM, LEED-AP, Executive Director, National Association of Energy Service Companies.

The Federal Performance Contracting Coalition is pleased to support the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness (ESIC) Act, introduced by Senators Portman and Shaheen. We are particularly glad to see strong federal energy performance provisions in Title IV.  As a coalition of companies engaged in Energy Savings Performance Contracting for our nation’s federal buildings, we support provisions that encourage efforts to make our federal facilities more energy efficient. More efficient buildings save not only on energy consumption, but on energy costs, too, which translates taxpayer savings. We also support the authorization of the Federal Energy Management Program, which provides important assistance and guidance to agencies that carry out Energy Savings Performance Contracts,” said Jennifer Schafer, Executive Director, Federal Performance Contracting Coalition.

“The Business Council for Sustainable Energy commends Senators Portman and Shaheen on their strong bipartisan leadership in promoting energy efficiency legislation to improve our nation’s energy productivity. The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness (ESIC) Act encourages the use of energy efficiency technologies in the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors of the economy and will cut costs, spur economic growth, and foster job creation,” said Lisa Jacobson, President, Business Council for Sustainable Energy.

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