Sheet metal & Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association

Letters & Testimonies

SMACNA Supports the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2017

Mar 14, 2017
In a recent letter to the House, SMACNA expressed its support of H.R. 1443, The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2017, introduced by Representatives David McKinley (R-WV) and Peter Welch (D-VT). Its companion bill in the Senate, S. 385, was introduced by Senators Portman and Shaheen with Senators Wicker, Coons, Franken, Bennet, Manchin and Collins as original bipartisan cosponsors.

SMACNA applauded Representatives McKinley and Welch for their outstanding leadership in national energy efficiency policy over many years, most recently represented by bill H.R. 1443.  The legislation’s innovative, market-driven, and voluntary “best practices” approach has attracted widespread bipartisan support for good reason. It will inspire thousands of building owners (and tenants) to quickly embrace many of its featured energy efficiency measures for residential, commercial, public and industrial structures. H.R. 1443 fits within many existing voluntary programs, has minimal regulatory impact and will not require significant new appropriations for rapid implementation in the private sector with minimal Federal guidance. These bipartisan reforms include initiatives that are projected to reduce U.S. energy consumption by an impressive 12 quadrillion British thermal units by 2030, while creating 190,000 jobs along the way.

H.R. 1443, The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act is a bipartisan energy efficiency bill that would make several important but low cost advancements in key efficiency areas of national interest, including:

  • Incentivize the nation’s industrial sector to adopt currently available technologies (motors, transformers, etc.) and processes that will speed up manufacturing supply, productivity, energy efficiency;

  • Encourage the nation’s number one energy consumer—the government (Title III)—to lead the way to adopt many new efficient technology programs to reduce data center energy consumption,

    benchmark the public building inventory for retrofit planning and smarter public school operation;

  • Create new incentives to broaden use of commercially available products and approaches that will lower energy consumption and costs for manufacturers, commercial tenants and consumers.

  • Would establish a DOE program - Supply STAR – to improve the efficiency of the supply chain for manufacturing sector firms;

  • Support public-private R&D and commercialization efforts aimed at speeding up development of next-generation energy-efficient technologies;

  • Reinforce private sector participation in a consensus-driven approach to strengthening energy standards and building codes nationwide. H.R. 1443 would also support the university-based training of the next generation of workers in energy efficient commercial building design and operations.

SMACNA is especially supportive of the provisions in Title I regarding Buildings and Title II that would reform industrial efficiency programs at the Department of Energy to support the deployment of supply-side energy efficiency opportunities in the manufacturing sector. Manufacturers often generate waste heat as part of their industrial processes. By producing both heat and power from a single fuel source, combined heat and power (CHP) has double the efficiency of central station power generation. Waste heat to power (WHP) captures waste heat that would typically be vented from an industrial facility and uses it to make electricity with no additional combustion and no incremental emissions. Both CHP and WHP improve a facility’s efficiency and dramatically lower energy use, emissions, and cost. What’s more, because many CHP projects do not depend on the grid to operate, they can increase the reliability of our power sector, by ensuring that manufacturers, universities and hospitals are able to function during extreme weather events, as was demonstrated when Superstorm Sandy hit the Northeast in late 2012.

Click here to contact your member of Congress on this and other issues critical to our industry.