The Energy Savings and Industrial Competiveness Act

By Eric Jackson, Quanex Building Products
May 10, 2012
THE TALK... | Energy Efficiency

Quanex Building Products has begun an initiative to better inform our customers of changes in programs and legislation in Washington that may impact the fenestration industry. We are investing in lobbying and dedicating resources to actively develop our influence with key members of Congress and departments, such as the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency.

We have established a policy agenda for Quanex that complements our industry association initiatives and the best interests of our customers. Over the coming months, we will provide background on these policy initiatives and update you, our customers, on activities we are undertaking and provide you with opportunities to participate. Our collective engagement will make our message stronger in Congress and federal departments.

Today we are focusing on The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2011 (S.1000). Quanex is adding its support for this bill, which we feel will benefit our industry and our customers. I urge you to contact both of your U.S. Senators and voice your support for this legislation. Encourage the Senators to sign onto the letter to Senate leadership requesting the bill go to the floor for a vote (download letter). Also request that he or she become a cosponsor of S.1000. Lastly, contact your U.S. Representative and let him or her know you feel the bill is important to our industry.

Summary of the Bill
The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2011 (S.1000) was introduced by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and the bill has enjoyed bipartisan support. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce supports this Senate bill. The legislation contains many proposals that would make off-the-shelf energy-efficient products more affordable for homeowners and businesses. These measures are designed to increase sales and consumer savings and encourage economic growth and job creation in the fenestration industry. Below is a summary of key proposals in the bill:

  • Boosts private sector investment in building efficiency upgrades.
  • Provides incentives for states to include greater energy efficiency in building codes through financial and technical assistance.
  • Provides financial assistance to industry, including establishing a state-based revolving financing program to help facilitate efficiency upgrades.
  • Works with states to strengthen voluntary national model building codes, to make new homes and commercial buildings more energy efficient.
  • Requires federal agencies to adopt energy-saving techniques and better building standards.

Introduced last May, the legislation has garnered national support from more than 125 businesses, trade associations, and efficiency advocates. In September, S.1000 passed the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee with strong bipartisan support by a vote of 18 to 3. Representatives Charles Bass (R-N.) and Jim Matheson (D-Utah) recently introduced similar legislation, the Smart Energy Act, in the House of Representatives.

Eric Jackson is Director of External Affairs for Quanex Building Products, the Houston-based supplier of components and systems for windows and doors. He welcomes questions or comments and can be contacted at eric.jackson@quanex.com or 216/650-9791.

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