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For the second time in a year, the full Senate failed to advance the NSBA-supported and bipartisan Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (S. 2262) (or the Shaheen-Portman Energy Efficiency Bill). If enacted, the bill would have promoted and facilitated the development and deployment of new energy efficiency technologies and the adoption of more efficient processes. A previous version of S. 2262 was approved by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee by a vote of 19-3 and bill sponsors had incorporated several amendments that caused the bill to be pulled from the floor last September. Supporters of the bill this go-round found themselves unable to reach the 60 vote threshold.
According to NSBA’s most recent Energy Survey, 52 percent of small-business respondents said that they were very concerned with the future energy costs of running their businesses and roughly one-third said that they had made investments in new energy efficient equipment to save on energy costs. However, finding capital to invest in new energy efficient techniques was and still is a significant impediment with 40 percent citing available capital as the primary obstacle to making their business more energy efficient.
The Shaheen-Portman bill was projected to create an estimated 136,000 new jobs by 2025, achieve annual savings of $13.7 billion, and reduce C02 and other greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of taking 22 million cars off the road by the year 2030. By strengthening model building codes, providing technical assistance and education, and incentivizing industry to make voluntary improvements and investments to increase supply chain productivity and/or purchase new, high efficiency motors, motor systems, or transformers, the bill would have significantly reduced energy use and costs, help create jobs, and promote energy independence. As such, NSBA still supports the Shaheen-Portman Energy Efficiency Bill and urges Senators to reach an agreement on amendments to hopefully bring the bill back to the floor sometime this year.