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senate Bill S. 1200

Funding More Energy Efficient Homes Across the Country

Argument in favor

Energy efficiency saves money and benefits the environment. The government has supported it in the past and should continue to do so for people's homes.

Argument opposed

If individuals want to make their residence more energy efficient that’s great — but the government shouldn’t be giving out loans for it.

bill Progress

  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
    IntroducedJune 20th, 2013

What is Senate Bill S. 1200?

S. 1200 — or the Residential Energy Savings Act — establishes a voluntary loan program to help states create or expand programs that give homeowners and renters funding to make their residence more energy efficient.

This bill would allow states and U.S. territories to provide financing through:

  • Revolving loan funds;

  • Credit enhancements to mitigate the effects of default;

  • A program using alternative methods for financing energy efficiency projects, using non-federal funds effectively, and making the repayment process consumer-friendly.

The Department of Energy (DOE) would have to consider several criteria when approving state energy efficiency programs — including the projected energy savings,  the applicability of repayment systems for loan recipients, and the regional diversity and income levels of participating residents.


Homeowners and tenants who want to make their homes more energy efficient, states that voluntarily participate in the program, the Department of Energy, the Secretary of Energy, Congress.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 1200

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In Depth:

If S. 1200 is enacted, the Secretary of Energy would be required to establish a "performance incentive," to give consumers a repayment discount. This discount would be no more than the amount of accrued interest on their loan. It would also be based on the performance of the energy efficiency measures used, which would be determined by specified factors.

Spending for this Act in a given year would be based on the amounts authorized in that fiscal year’s appropriations bills.

According to research by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, 46 states have energy efficiency programs administered by the state without federal assistance. While these programs do all offer financial incentives, there is significant variation between the types of projects (i.e. government buildings, commercial buildings, residences)  that are covered by each state’s program.

This bill was drafted with the intention of giving states the most flexibility in setting up their energy efficiency programs. For states that already have residential-focused programs opting in may be as simple as modifying their program to include a performance incentive or streamlining the repayment process.

The Department of Energy already gives states funds for the purpose of completing energy efficiency projects through the State Energy Program (SEP). This program does include assistance for residential energy efficiency projects, although states use the funding to retrofit schools and other public buildings as well.


Sponsoring Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) & Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) Press Release

Alliance to Save Energy (In Favor)

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (In Favor)


(Photo Credit: Institute for Energy Research)


Residential Energy Savings Act of 2013

Official Title

A bill to amend the Energy Policy and Conservation Act to promote energy efficiency and energy savings in residential buildings.

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