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:

·         Boost private investment in building efficiency upgrades by expanding the DOE loan guarantee program

·         Help manufacturers cut energy use and become more competitive by working with states to establish a revolving loan program to help finance efficiency upgrades

·         Provide standards on outdoor lighting, residential heating and cooling systems and residential appliances

·         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