Legislation would increase transparency, efficiency of energy standards

Bipartisan legislation introduced by Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) on Tuesday would enhance the transparency and cost-effectiveness of baseline energy efficiency standards for buildings.

The Energy Savings and Building Efficiency Act would outline technical assistance provided by the Department of Energy (DoE) in developing codes to guarantee that particular products or technologies are not given an unfair advantage.

“This strikes a proper cost-benefit balance by promoting the development of efficiency targets for buildings, while ensuring that home owners and builders are not burdened by unreasonable regulations,” Blackburn, the vice chairwoman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said. “Additionally, hard-working taxpayers are protected by a provision preventing federal funds from being used to advance code revisions proposed by special interest groups.”

Provisions of the measure would also help private sector developers see a greater return on their investments.

“Ensuring the federal government is working for businesses and homeowners, and not against them, in helping to promote energy efficient buildings is the right policy approach, and the Energy Savings and Building Efficiency Act will do just that,” Schrader said. “The effect of this legislation will simultaneously protect our environment and save money in the long run, and that’s the sort of commonsense that I wish we saw more of in Congress. I look forward to working with Rep. Blackburn to see this bill through to the finish line.”

The measure has support from the private sector. John Floyd, a principal of Ole South Properties in Nashville, Tenn., applauded the bill.

“This bill will help ensure that new homes become increasingly energy efficient, but not at a pace that the market cannot bear,” Floyd said. “Our buyers want to be assured that the additional cost comes with a reasonable payback so they can recoup the money they spent.”