US delays decision on energy efficiency bill

The US Senate is still debating on whether a bipartisan energy efficiency bill should be passed as law. It has delayed its decision on ‘The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

US-flagThe US Senate is still debating on whether a bipartisan energy efficiency bill should be passed as law.

It has delayed its decision on ‘The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act’ proposed by Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Rob Portman, which is expected to boost the use of energy efficiency technologies in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors.

The Shaheen-Portman bill sets out plans to strengthen national building codes to make new homes and commercial buildings more energy efficient and train the next generation of workers in energy efficient building design. It also requires the federal government – the single largest energy user in the country – to adopt energy-saving techniques and allows federal agencies to use existing funds to update any new buildings with efficient standards.

The bill has received the support of around 260 businesses, trade groups and non-governmental organisation, according to reports.

The White House has also backed the bill and said it “complements key energy efficiency dimensions” of the President Barack Obama’s Climate Action Plan announced earlier this year.

It said in a statement: “Energy efficiency is a large, low-cost, and underutilized U.S. energy resource. Increased energy efficiency offers savings on energy bills, opportunities for more jobs, and improved industrial competitiveness, and it will lower air pollution.

“The Administration strongly supports improving energy efficiency in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors and in the Federal government.”

The US Government has set a target of reducing the energy wasted by US homes and businesses in half by 2030. It set out new energy efficiency standards for commercial refrigeration equipment, which is expected to cut consumers’ energy bills by up to $28 billion (£18bn).