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Enabling Energy Saving Innovations Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. ADERHOLT. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Madam Speaker, when Congress passed the Energy Independence and Security Act in December 2007, it inadvertently did not allow a procedure for technologies which may provide greater energy efficiencies than even what is required in the bill. The legislation before us this afternoon simply makes a small change in relation to walk-in coolers and freezers.

Section 312 of the Energy Independence and Security Act regulates the efficiency standards of walk-in coolers and freezers. The section mandates that cooler and freezer doors meet a certain R-value as a measurement of their ability to retain temperature and use less energy. The problem is that an R-value is a measurement based primarily on the thickness of foam. Therefore, requiring products to meet an R-value prohibits technologies that are just as efficient, but utilize alternative materials or technologies.

These types of statutes typically provide the Department of Energy with a waiver authority. This bill simply provides the Department of Energy with the authority to waive the R-value requirement if they determine a product meets or exceeds the desired energy-efficiency goals. This bill is supported by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. Furthermore, we have spoken with officials at the Department of Energy who recognize the need to consider the energy savings of nonfoam products.

Madam Speaker, this situation offers a prime example of how making an adjustment in a government regulation can maintain standards and at the same time allow flexibility for businesses and retailers to purchase superior products to enable their businesses to use less energy and therefore save more money. The law as it currently stands is preventing this mutually beneficial transaction from taking place. Furthermore, without a waiver authority, the law will continue to limit future innovations in this important sector. It would be, as if in the 1950s, Congress had mandated that the record industry only use a certain type of vinyl. Therefore, there would be no cassette tapes, CDs, or iPods.

With this simple bill, Congress can fix this oversight, allowing more eco-friendly innovations and a freer marketplace. This is one way we as Representatives can help continue to create an environment for economic growth. For those reasons, this bill enjoys wide bipartisan support, and I urge a ``yes'' vote on H.R. 4850.


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