The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power and the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a joint hearing today to discuss an updated discussion draft of the Smart Energy Act introduced by Representatives Charlie Bass (R-N.H.) and Jim Matheson (D-Utah). An earlier version of the bill was introduced in February.
The bipartisan bill aims to promote efficient energy use in the federal and private sectors, and, like the ACC-backed Shaheen-Portman bill, lays out recommendations on federal energy use as well as opportunities for energy efficiency in business and industry.
ACC president and CEO Cal Dooley highlighted the chemistry industry’s support for the Smart Energy Act, with particular interest in provisions that advance industrial energy efficiency:
Saving energy is one of the best ways to reduce costs and improve U.S. competitiveness, yet energy efficiency rarely gets its due. We urge the House of Representatives to swiftly pass the Smart Energy Act, a bipartisan bill that contains several important provisions to advance industrial energy efficiency. Energy efficiency belongs in any ‘all of the above,’ comprehensive national energy policy.
The Smart Energy Act will help our industry become more competitive by identifying specific regulatory barriers to greater investment in industrial energy efficiency, coordinating research and development of new industrial efficiency technologies, and developing a strategic plan to double the nation’s production from high-efficiency combined heat and power (CHP) technologies.
Industry-hosted combined heat and power and waste heat recovery units are dramatically underutilized in the U.S. Today, the U.S. produces barely 9 percent of its power from these highly efficient CHP/WHR units. The Smart Energy Act will place a national spotlight on underutilized technologies that have the potential to dramatically improve the efficiency and competitiveness of American industry.
Chemistry is a critical component in the development of energy innovations in the U.S., including lithium-ion batteries, composites for more fuel-efficient cars, lightweight plastic packaging that reduces energy needs in shipping and transportation, as well as insulation, roofing, windows, and piping that improve efficiency in buildings.
The Smart Energy Act helps lay the groundwork for making energy efficiency a central feature of a new national energy policy. It will identify barriers and recommend solutions to spur new investments in industrial energy efficiency — investments that can create new jobs while making US industry more competitive internationally.
As an industry that competes in global markets every day, ACC urges Congress to pass the Smart Energy Act.