Senate approves Shaheen-Portman bill to boost energy efficiency in commercial buildings, homes

Energy Associated Press

The Senate has approved a long-delayed bill to boost energy efficiency that includes incentives to cut energy use in commercial buildings, manufacturing plants and homes.

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The bill was approved early Friday by voice vote. The bill now goes to the House.

The Senate bill was co-sponsored by Democrat Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and Republican Rob Portman of Ohio. A similar bill was defeated last year after it became enmeshed in a partisan fight over the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

The measure exempts some energy-efficient water heaters from pending Energy Department rules and requires federal agencies to develop best practices to increase energy efficiency in federal buildings, among other provisions.

Shaheen and Portman say the bill would create jobs, save consumers money and reduce pollution.