By Pam Kasey
An Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness has been introduced by U.S. Reps. David B. McKinley, R-W.Va., and Peter Welch, D-Vt.
The text of H.R. 1616 was not immediately available online, but a media release from McKinley's office said the bill aims to spur the use of energy efficiency technologies in residential, commercial and industrial buildings and to encourage job creation.
Among other items, H.R. 1616 requires the federal government to adopt energy saving techniques for computers, saving energy and taxpayer's money, the release said.
"This bipartisan bill is designed to save businesses and taxpayer's money while making America more energy independent," McKinley said. "As an engineer, I've designed energy efficient buildings and understand how to conserve energy and save money."
The bill is a common sense idea whose time has come, Welch said.
"Energy efficiency is a practical, non-partisan idea that saves money, puts people to work, creates demand for American-made products, and improves the environment," he said.
The McKinley-Welch bill is the House companion to the one introduced last week by U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and Rob Portman, R-Ohio, in the Senate.
The bill also will help speed the transition to a more energy-efficient economy, McKinley's release said, increasing both America's economic competitiveness and energy security for the coming decades, while driving economic growth and encouraging private sector job creation.
"As one of only two engineers in Congress, I understand our country needs to strengthen building codes to make new homes and commercial buildings more energy efficient," said Rep. McKinley. "In addition, the Department of Energy needs to work with the private sector to encourage research, development and commercialization of innovative energy efficient technology."
McKinley and Welch are leaders in the House on energy efficiency issues. Welch is the founder of the House Energy Saving Performance Caucus, and the two co-chair the High Performance Building Caucus.
The legislation is endorsed and supported by more than 200 businesses, environmental groups and trade associations, McKinley's release said.