The U.S. House of Representatives passed by voice vote S 535, the Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015
. This legislative package is a no-cost, no-mandate bill that helps advance energy efficiency through reduced regulatory burden, increased transparency, and a focus on the federal government as a first mover to save taxpayer dollars on energy bills. The bill was passed by the Senate on March 27, 2015, by voice vote and is now on its way to President Obama for signature.
Once signed into law the bill will:
- establish "Tenant Star," a voluntary, market-driven approach to aligning the interests of commercial building owners and their tenants to reduce energy consumption;
- exempt certain electric resistance water heaters used for utility demand response programs from pending Department of Energy regulation; and
- require that federally-leased buildings without ENERGY STAR® labels benchmark and disclose their energy usage data, where practical.
Over the last two months, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has led a group of businesses, associations, independent electric grid operators, and non-governmental organizations to come together and strongly support S 535. The group has sent letters to the Senate
urging swift passage of the bill during the process.
A recent poll conducted for NEMA and National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) found that a substantial majority of voters polled—including those identifying themselves as conservative, moderate, and liberal—support measures to promote energy efficiency. Nine in ten of those polled support using energy-efficient products and believe it is important to include energy efficiency as part of our country's energy solutions. Seventy-four percent of those polled support investing taxpayers' dollars on energy-efficient technologies, innovations, and programs if it would save consumers more money. Finally, 69 percent of those polled are more likely to support investing taxpayers' dollars on energy efficiency if those investments will not raise taxes or add to the federal deficit, and do not involve government mandates on consumers.
The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) represents nearly 350 electrical equipment and medical imaging manufacturers at the forefront of electrical safety, reliability, and resilience, as well as efficiency and energy security. Our combined industries account for 360,000 American jobs in more than 7,000 facilities covering every state. Our industry produces $106 billion shipments of electrical equipment and medical imaging technologies per year with $36 billion exports.