On April 23, 2013, the Senate held a hearing on bipartisan energy efficiency legislation (S. 761) that aims to improve energy savings in residential and commercial buildings. It plans to mark up the bill on May 8.
The measure, introduced by Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH), is a modified version of their bill from the last Congress. Importantly, the current version does not contain NMHC/NAA-opposed building code mandates, although it does provide training for building code officials while eliminating grants for other programs, including demonstration projects.
In the last Congress, the Shaheen-Portman bill (S.1000) passed the Senate, but failed to move in the House. This year, however, the House has shown more interest in the issue, with the introduction of a bipartisan bill (H.R. 1616) by Representatives David McKinley (R-WV) and Peter Welch (D-VT) that mirrors S. 761.
NMHC/NAA will continue to urge Congress to make further improvements to the measure, including improved modeling of code compliance costs for apartments by the Department of Energy (DOE), seeking more transparency for DOE’s code activities and seeking ways for property owners to access whole building energy data.