Sheet metal & Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association


Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (S. 720)

Quality Construction Alliance Position:
Congress should pass S. 720 introduced by Senators Rob Portman (R – OH) and Jean Shaheen (D – NH) or its House companion bill awaiting introduction by Representatives David McKinley (R-WV) and Peter Welch (D-VT).   The Act would spur the use of energy efficiency technologies in residential, commercial, public and industrial sectors of our economy to achieve greater building and facilities operating energy efficiency as well as incentivize job creation.


According to the Energy Information Agency, the combined annual energy costs for U.S. commercial buildings and industrial facilities total more than $200 billion, and more than 30 percent of a building’s energy use is inefficient or wasted.

The industrial sector uses over 30 percent of all energy consumed in the U.S.—more than any other sector—and leads all efficiency opportunities with 40 percent of cost-effective energy efficiency potential in the U.S. economy achievable by 2020.

Inefficiencies in residential and commercial buildings account for more than 40 percent of the total U.S. energy consumption and 40 percent of the total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, with commercial buildings in many major cities accounting for the vast majority of carbon emissions.   

Energy security is central to national security.  Changes in Building Codes and increased industrial efficiency, and energy efficiency efforts in government, would do much to reduce US energy consumption.    

Deployment of energy efficiency technologies would create more jobs and would help manufacturers cut costs and become more globally competitive.

Key Points:

The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act’s national efficiency goals:

  • 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—to lead the way by adopting a number of 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. Also 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. Also would support the university based training of the next generation of workers in energy efficient commercial building design and operations.


S. 720, The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2015, introduced March 11th by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) was referred to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The House companion bill awaits introduction by Rep. David McKinley (R-WV) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT).   

S. 720 Co-Sponsors

Portman, Robert “Rob” (R-OH)

Ayotte, Kelly (R-NH)

Bennet, Michael (D-CO)

Cantwell, Maria (D-WA)

Collins, Susan (R-ME)

Coons, Chris (D-DE)

Franken, Al (D-MN)

Heller, Dean (R-NV)

Hoeven, John (R-ND)

Manchin, Joe (D-WV)

Murkowski, Lisa (R-AK)

Shaheen, Jeanne (D-NH)

Warner, Mark (D-VA)

Wicker, Roger (R-MS)


H.R. _____ Co-Sponsors 

McKinley, David (R-WV)                Welch, Peter (D-VT)