Senate Passes Water Heaters, Buildings Bill

On March 27, the U.S. Senate passed an energy efficiency bill - essentially a "mini Shaheen-Portman" - aimed at protecting rural energy-savings programs and encouraging tenants and landlords to work together to reduce their energy use.

Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) secured unanimous support for a bill to modify a Department of Energy efficiency standard for large water heaters that rural cooperatives stated would have prevented them from expanding popular demand-response programs. The attached bill, S.535, would also establish a voluntary Tenant Star certification program similar to the existing Energy Star program designed to encourage efficiency in leased buildings.  The DOE water heater rule is scheduled to go into effect April 15. 

The House passed similar legislation on a wide bipartisan margin last year, and it could adopt the Senate bill as soon as it returns on April 13.

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Date Posted: 4/9/2015