May 2013
U.S. Policy
Summary of the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2013 (S.761)

This document provides a general summary of the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2013 (S.761), sponsored by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH), as reported out of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on May 8, 2013.

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

The short title of this bill is the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2013.

Sec. 2. Definition of Secretary.

"Secretary," for purposes of this act, is defined as the Secretary of Energy.

Title I—Buildings

Subtitle A—Building Energy Codes

Sec. 101. Greater energy efficiency in building codes.

Updating Model Building Energy Codes: This section would amend the Energy Conservation and Production Act by adding a Section 307 on "Support for Model Building Energy Codes." The new Section 307 would require the Secretary to support the updating of model building energy codes, in particular by working with code-setting organizations, states, tribes, local governments, and other interested parties to achieve aggregate energy savings targets for commercial and residential buildings. Any model building code or standard established under this section would not be binding on a state, local government, or tribe.

The Secretary could establish separate targets for residential and commercial buildings. The baseline for updating model building energy codes would be the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code for residential buildings and the ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2010 for commercial buildings.

Energy Savings Targets: The Secretary would establish energy savings targets for specific years through rulemaking and in coordination with code-setting organizations. The targets would be set at the maximum level of energy efficiency that is technologically feasible and that accounts for long-term costs including utilities, operations and maintenance; is higher than the preceding target; and promotes the achievement of high-performance buildings through high performance energy efficiency. If a target could not be met, the Secretary could set a later target year for any of the model building energy codes.

The Secretary would develop and adjust building code targets in recognition of potential savings and costs relating to energy efficiency gains made in appliances and other aspects of the building; distributed generation and on-site renewable energy generation; building management systems and Smart Grid technologies; and appropriate building plug load and other energy use technologies. In establishing and revising building code targets, the Secretary would consider the economic feasibility of achieving the proposed targets and the potential costs and savings for consumer and building owners, including return on investment.

The Secretary would make a preliminary determination of whether model building code revisions would improve energy efficiency compared to the existing code and meet the energy savings targets. If the preliminary determination found the revisions did not meet the targets established under this Act, the Secretary could propose a change to the model code that would meet the targets. The model building energy code developer would have 270 days to accept or reject the proposed changes.

Support for Code-Setting Organizations: The Secretary would provide technical and financial support to model building energy code-setting and standard development organizations consistent with the goals of this section.

Updating State Building Energy Efficiency Codes: This section would amend the Energy Conservation and Production Act by adding a Section 304 on "Updating State Building Energy Efficiency Codes," under which the Secretary would promote the adoption of the above model building energy codes by states, tribes and local governments. States and tribes would have two years after the updating of the model building energy code to certify whether their respective building codes meet or exceed the energy savings of the updated model building energy code. If the model building energy code was not updated by the target date, the state or tribe would have two years to certify whether its building energy code meets or exceeds the above aggregate energy saving targets. Following state or tribe certification of building energy code updates, the Secretary would have 90 days to determine whether to validate the certification.

State Compliance with Codes: States and tribes would have three years after certification to determine whether they have achieved or have made significant progress toward achieving full compliance with the certified building energy code update. A state or tribe would be considered in full compliance if at least 90 percent of its building space substantially met the requirements of the applicable code, or the excess energy of noncomplying buildings was no more than 5 percent of that covered by the code. Any state or tribe having only made significant progress, rather than full compliance, would have to repeat the certification until it has achieved full compliance. Following certification of compliance, the Secretary would have 90 days to determine whether to validate the certification.

States and tribes not certifying updates to or compliance with building energy codes would submit a report to the Secretary. The report would include a status and plan for meeting the requirements and submitting the certification. Federal support could be considered for any state or tribe lacking certification. A local government within any state or tribe that had not achieved certification could be eligible for federal support for meeting the requirements of certification and compliance.

Assistance and Incentives for States: The Secretary would provide technical assistance to states and tribes to implement the goals and requirements of this section. The Secretary would provide incentive funding to state and tribes to implement this section; to improve and implement residential and commercial building energy codes; and to promote building energy efficiency through the use of these codes. Additional funding would be provided to implement a plan to achieve and document full compliance with residential and commercial building energy codes.

Stretch Codes: The Secretary would provide technical and financial support for the development of "stretch codes" and advanced standards for residential and commercial buildings for use as an option for adoption as a building energy code, and guidelines for energy-efficient building design. The stretch codes and advanced standards would be designed to achieve substantial energy savings compared to the model building energy code, and to exceed the targets established under this Act by at least 3 to 6 years in advance.

The Secretary, in consultation with building and energy efficiency experts, would undertake a study of the feasibility, impacts and economics of the following: Code improvements that would require buildings to become zero-net-energy after initial construction; code procedures that would incorporate long-term costs including utilities, operations and maintenance; and legislative options for increasing energy savings from building energy codes.

Annual Report to Congress: The Secretary would submit an annual report to Congress on the status of model building energy codes, the status of code adoption and compliance, implementation of this section, and improvements in energy savings as a result of the targets established under Sec. 307. The report would also include estimates of past action under this section, and the potential impacts on further action on upfront costs, investment analysis, and lifetime energy use for buildings; resulting energy costs to individuals and businesses; and resulting overall annual building ownership and operating costs.

$200 million would be authorized to carry out this section until expended.

Subtitle B—Worker Training and Capacity Building

Sec. 111. Building training and assessment centers.

This section would require the Secretary to provide grants to institutions of higher education and tribal colleges or universities to establishing building training and assessment centers. To the extent possible, building, training and assessment centers established under this section would be collocated with Industrial Assessment Centers.

Title II—Private Commercial Building Efficiency Financing

Sec. 201. Private commercial building efficiency financing

This section would establish a Commercial Building Energy Efficiency Financing Initiative under which the Secretary would provide grants to states to establish or expand programs to promote financing of energy efficiency retrofit projects for the private sector and commercial buildings.

A state could apply for a grant to establish or expand the following:

  • A commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program;
  • A credit enhancement structure that is designed to mitigate the effects of default;
  • A revolving loan fund;
  • A program to promote the use of energy savings performance contracts (ESPCs) or utility energy service contracts (UESCs), or both;
  • A utility on-bill financing or repayment program;
  • Utility energy efficiency programs;
  • An interest buy-down program;
  • A secondary market financing program;
  • A leasing structure that recognizes energy costs and addresses split incentives;
  • An education program involving commercial lenders, energy service companies, commercial building owners and other stakeholders; or
  • Any other activity that would significantly increase the total investments in and energy savings from building retrofits.

A state receiving a grant would give a higher priority to programs and projects that leverage private and non-federal sources of funding and aim explicitly to expand the use of energy efficiency project financing using private sources of funding. A state receiving a grant under this section would be encouraged to considering establishing other appropriate policies, incentives, or actions.

Large Commercial Building Efficiency: This section also would require the Secretary to conduct large commercial building efficiency financing initiatives to encourage states to promote the financing of energy efficiency retrofit projects for larger private sector commercial, multi-family, and mixed use buildings. A state or a group of states could apply for a grant to establish or expand programs to promote the goals of this initiative. A state receiving a grant would focus on leveraging private sources of funds and work with the private sector to assist in expanding the reach of the program. The Secretary would evaluate applications from states for large commercial building efficiency financing initiatives on the basis of several criteria including the likelihood of increasing total investment and energy savings of a retrofit project.

Report to Congress: Within two years after receipt of a grant under this section, a state would submit to the Secretary, the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate, and the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives a report on the performance of programs and activities carried out with the grant. A state would also collect and share data resulting from programs and activities under this section with the Department of Energy incorporating (and protecting confidential business) data into appropriate databases.

Allocation of funding: $250 million would be authorized to carry out this section. Half of this amount would be allocated on a formula-basis that is consistent with the formula used to allocate funds for state energy conservation programs established under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, as determined by the Secretary. The other half would be allocated to large commercial building efficiency financing initiatives, with no individual state receiving more than 10 percent of the amount made available for a fiscal year. Funds provided to a state under this section would be provided to the office within the state that is responsible for developing the state energy plan.

Title III—Industrial Efficiency and Competiveness

Subtitle A—Manufacturing energy efficiency

Sec. 301. Purposes.

The section outlines the purposes of this subtitle, which include reforming and reorienting industrial efficiency programs of the Department of Energy; accelerating deployment of technologies and practices that would increase industrial energy efficiency and improve productivity; and stimulating domestic economic growth and improving industrial productivity and competiveness.

Sec. 302. Future of Industry program.

This section would authorize DOE funding for institutions of higher education-based industrial research and assessment centers to identify sustainable manufacturing goals and the implementation of information technology advancements for supply chain analysis, logistics, system monitoring, industrial and manufacturing processes, and other purposes. The Secretary would coordinate industrial research and assessment center activities with relevant federal agencies and provide funding for: outreach activities that would inform small- and medium- size manufacturers of the following available services: workforce training, expedited consideration of eligible small business loans, and an advanced manufacturing steering committee.

Sec. 303. Sustainable manufacturing initiative.

This section would amend the Energy Policy and Conservation Act by adding a section on a "Sustainable Manufacturing Initiative," which would require the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the Department of Energy, on the request of a manufacturer, to conduct onsite technical assessments to identify opportunities for maximizing industrial energy efficiency, preventing pollution, minimizing waste, improving efficient use of water, conserving natural resources, and achieving other appropriate goals as determined by the Secretary. The Secretary would carry out this section in coordination with the private sector and appropriate agencies to accelerate adoption of new and existing energy efficiency technologies and processes.

As part of the industrial efficiency programs of the Department of Energy, the Secretary would carry out a joint industry-government partnership program to research, develop, and demonstrate new sustainable manufacturing and industrial technologies and processes that maximize the energy efficiency of industrial plants, reduce pollution, and conserve natural resources.

Subtitle B—Supply Star

Sec. 311. Supply Star.

This section would amend the Energy Policy and Conservation Act by adding a section establishing a Supply Star Program, under which the Secretary would:

  • Identify and promote practices, recognize companies and products that use highly efficient supply chains in a manner that conserves energy, water, and other resources;
  • Raise awareness of the Supply Star program;
  • Collect and disseminate data on supply chain energy resource consumption;
  • Develop and disseminate metrics, processes, and analytic tools for evaluating supply chain energy resource use;
  • Develop guidance at the sector level for improving efficiency;
  • Work to harmonize approaches to analyzing supply chain efficiency; and
  • Work with industry, including small businesses, to improve supply chain efficiency.

In any evaluation of supply chain efficiency carried out by the Secretary with respect to a specific product, the Secretary would consider energy consumption and resource use throughout the entire lifecycle of a product, including production, transport, packaging, use, and disposal.

The Secretary could award competitive grants (or other forms of incentives) to eligible entities for the purpose of studying supply chain energy resource efficiency, and demonstrating and achieving reductions in energy resource consumption of commercial products. Any information or data generated as a result of the grants or incentives would be used to inform the development of the Supply Star Program. The Secretary would use funds to support professional training programs to develop and communicate methods, practices, and tools for improving supply chain efficiency. The impact on climate change would not be a factor in determining supply chain efficiency.

$10 million would be authorized to carry out this section for the period of fiscal year 2014 through 2023.

Subtitle C—Electric motor rebate program

Sec. 321. Energy saving motor control rebate program.

This section would establish a program to provide rebates for purchases and installations of a new constant speed electric motor that reduces motor energy use by more than 5 percent. The Secretary would provide a rebate for the amount equal to $25 times the nameplate horsepower of the electric motor to which the energy saving motor control is attached.

$5 million would be authorized for each of fiscal years 2014 and 2015, to carry out this section.

Subtitle D—Transformer rebate program

Sec. 331. Energy efficient transformer rebate program.

This section would establish a rebate program for owners of industrial or manufacturing facilities, commercial buildings, and multifamily residential buildings for the purchase and installation of a new energy efficient transformer.

$5 million would be authorized for each of fiscal years 2014 and 2015, to carry out this section.

Title IV—Federal Agency Energy Efficiency

Sec. 401. Adoption of information and communications technology power savings techniques by Federal agencies.

This section would require, within 360 days after enactment of this Act, the Secretary to issue guidance for federal agencies to use advanced energy saving tools for information and communication technologies. Within 180 days after the issuance of the guidance, federal agencies would submit a plan for implementing the guidance within the agency, and an estimated energy and financing savings from information and communication solutions.

Sec. 402. Availability of funds for design updates.

This section would allow the Administrator of the General Services to update federal building designs for projects that have not started construction in order to meet applicable federal building energy efficiency standards established under this Act. The use of funds could not exceed 125 percent of the estimated energy or other cost savings associated with the update.

Sec. 403. Natural gas and electric vehicle infrastructure.

This section would amend the National Energy Conservation Policy Act and the National Energy Conservation Policy Act to support the use of natural gas vehicles and electric vehicles or the necessary fueling or charging infrastructure.

Sec. 404. Federal data center consolidation.

This section would require the Office of Management and Budget, within 180 days after enactment of this Act, to develop and publish the total amount of planned energy and cost savings and productivity gains (on a year-by-year basis) through the consolidation of federal data centers during 5-year period beginning after enactment of this Act.

Title V—Miscellaneous

Among other things, this section would amend the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 to reduce funding for the Zero Net Energy Commercial Buildings Initiatives for each of the fiscal years 2014 through 2018.