Over the weekend the 113th Congress largely wrapped up its work. It looks like this Congress will pass just over 200 bills, the lowest number since World War II. However, before leaving home for the holidays, Congress took action on several bills that will affect energy efficiency:
On Friday, the Department of Energy (DOE) issued a new test procedure for residential and some commercial water heaters. The new procedure addresses a number of longstanding testing issues in order to better replicate real-world usage and to more accurately measure energy consumption across various technologies. Unfortunately, DOE missed an opportunity to ensure that one of the most energy-efficient technologies, the electric heat pump water heater (HPWH), performs as expected in cold temperatures.
Today 191 Republican and 184 Democratic members of the House joined to pass the Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2014 (HR 2126), sponsored by Representatives David McKinley (R-WV) and Peter Welch (D-VT). The bill includes several provisions to save energy in buildings:
Emerging Technologies Increase Consumer Choice and Improve Performance
Washington, D.C.—New energy-efficient water heating technologies and practices can save residential and commercial buildings on average 37% more energy than conventional technologies. These energy savings could be worth nearly $18 billion, according to a new study of emerging technologies released today by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).
Washington, D.C. — The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) and efficiency organizations including the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) have submitted a petition to the ENERGY STAR program to recognize the benefits of smart appliances and jump start the smart grid. The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) estimates that implementing smart grid technologies could reduce electricity use by more than four percent annually by 2030. Smart appliances can have an even more profound impact on reducing expensive peak demand.
2010 was a mixed year for energy efficiency with significant progress at the state level, but ultimately only modest success to show on the national level, particularly from Congress. As our 2010 ACEEE State Energy Policy Scorecard documented, progress continued to be made at the state level.
Congress Likely to Extend, But Modify, Energy Efficiency Tax Incentives for Appliances, New Homes, and Retrofits to Existing Homes
Washington, D.C. — The tax package that passed the Senate yesterday and is likely to pass the House of Representatives soon includes extensions and revisions to three existing federal energy efficiency tax incentives: for appliances, a one-year extension; for new homes, coverage for 2010 and 2011; and for home retrofits, one year with modifications.