Bill to boost energy efficiency in commercial buildings, homes on its way to White House

The House has given final legislative approval to a long-delayed bill to boost energy efficiency, sending the measure to the White House.

The bill was approved Tuesday on a voice vote. It includes incentives to cut energy use in commercial buildings, manufacturing plants and homes.

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Senators approved the bill last month, also by voice vote.

The measure, sponsored by Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and Republican Rob Portman of Ohio, exempts some energy-efficient water heaters from pending Energy Department rules. It also requires federal agencies to develop best practices to increase energy efficiency in federal buildings, among other provisions.

Shaheen said the bill's merits were "never a tough sell," but said she and Portman worked hard to convince lawmakers not to "play politics with a good idea."