D.C. roundup: energy efficiency policy, cybersecurity and Moniz
By: SGN Staff
By Doug Peeples
SGN News Editor
We saw a lot of smart grid-related activity in Washington, D.C. over the last few days. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) re-introduced their national energy efficiency strategy, the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act - and it has widespread support from industry leaders and energy efficiency and environmental advocates, according to a Forbes report.
In addition, the House OK'd reworked cybersecurity legislation that passed with a 288-127 vote and the Senate Energy committee "overwhelmingly endorsed" the nomination of physicist Ernest Moniz to head DOE, said the Washington Post in a news article.
Energy efficiency policy
While major energy reforms are unlikely to get anywhere in what Forbes described as a "dysfunctional and divided" Congress, support for energy efficiency appears to appeal to both parties - and much of what the legislation proposes could be accomplished with moderate to no cost to taxpayers. According to a release from Sen. Shaheen's office when the bill was originally introduced in 2011, the bill contains "...a broad package of low-cost tools that would reduce barriers for businesses, homeowners and consumers looking to adopt off-the-shelf energy efficiency technologies that will save them money."
Some highlights include:
Â· Boost private investment in building efficiency upgrades by expanding the DOE loan guarantee program
Â· Help manufacturers cut energy use and become more competitive by working with states to establish a revolving loan program to help finance efficiency upgrades
Â· Provide standards on outdoor lighting, residential heating and cooling systems and residential appliances
Â· Require the federal government, the country's largest energy user, to adopt energy savings for computers and to adopt improved building standards and smart metering technology