Why the Shaheen-Portman Bill is a Big Deal for Energy Efficiency

Sept. 9, 2013
Anyone in favor of saving as much energy as California and Michigan use in a year? That’s what the US can achieve with passage of the Energy Savings & Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2013 (aka the Shaheen-Portman bill), according to a white paper recently released by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.

Anyone in favor of saving as much energy as California and Michigan use in a year?

That’s what the US can achieve with passage of the Energy Savings & Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2013 (aka the Shaheen-Portman bill), according to a white paper recently released by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.

The paper puts into perspective the economics of the bill, S. 1392, which is pending floor consideration when the Senate returns from recess. (Editor’s Note: See update on bill’s progress here.) Introduced by Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH), the bill – and amendments that appear to have bipartisan support – could not only achieve the California/Michigan volume of energy savings by 2030, but also save consumers about $14.7 billion annually (after subtracting costs), ACEEE says. 

In all, the bill would cut energy use by 10.7 quads, most of that (8 quads) would come from improving building codes.

What else would the bill do? Among other things, it  creates worker training programs,  boosts various industrial efficiency efforts (Supply Star, Electric Motor Rebate and Transformer Rebate), requires the federal government to improve its data center energy saving efforts, promotes building benchmarking, offers programs to overcome the tenant/landlord split incentive problem, pushes school retrofits, and offers efficiency grants for non-profits.

ACEEE says that the bill, and likely amendments, would support more than 70,000 jobs by 2020, 143,000 by 2025 and 172,000 by 2030.

The private sector would pay for most of the energy efficiency improvements, about $67.2 billion by 2030. Total cost to government would be $2.6 billion.

“The Senate should act quickly to pass this important legislation,” said Steven Nadel, ACEEE executive director. “The provisions we analyzed have the power to save consumers money, stimulate the economy, and protect the environment.”

The full analysis is on the ACEEE site here.

About the Author

Elisa Wood | Editor-in-Chief

Elisa Wood is an award-winning writer and editor who specializes in the energy industry. She is chief editor and co-founder of Microgrid Knowledge and serves as co-host of the publication’s popular conference series. She also co-founded RealEnergyWriters.com, where she continues to lead a team of energy writers who produce content for energy companies and advocacy organizations.

She has been writing about energy for more than two decades and is published widely. Her work can be found in prominent energy business journals as well as mainstream publications. She has been quoted by NPR, the Wall Street Journal and other notable media outlets.

“For an especially readable voice in the industry, the most consistent interpreter across these years has been the energy journalist Elisa Wood, whose Microgrid Knowledge (and conference) has aggregated more stories better than any other feed of its time,” wrote Malcolm McCullough, in the book, Downtime on the Microgrid, published by MIT Press in 2020.

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