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senate Bill S. 720

Making Businesses and Homes More Energy-Efficient

Argument in favor

The government has a role to play in fostering energy efficiency projects in the public and private sectors. Spending money on these projects will save money and conserve resources in the long run.

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01/12/2016
“The biggest national security threat facing the United States [is climate change]." [thinkprogress.org]
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Daniel's Opinion
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05/07/2015
If promoting home energy efficiency is deepened important for our country as a whole, we all have the responsibility of making sure we follow through. The government is there for a reason. It doesn't want to just boss everyone around. It's there to make sure that people make the right decisions. Whether or not individuals or businesses understand why the decision is right isn't important. They just need to follow them because they're what is right.
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Jeffery's Opinion
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05/07/2015
Support the growth of Solar technology so the average American can afford it.
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Argument opposed

If the financial benefits of these energy efficiency projects are so obvious, businesses and homeowners should be able to undertake them without the assistance of the government.

DonaldTrump's Opinion
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01/11/2016
"I’ll give you one regulation. So I build, and I build a lot of stuff. And I go into areas where they have tremendous water... And you have sinks where the water doesn’t come out. You have showers where I can’t wash my hair properly. It’s a disaster." [thehill.com]
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Ryan's Opinion
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07/23/2015
Competition makes things affordable for the general population. Energy efficient products is no different. The private sector will sort itself out, and government needs to butt out.
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PieceKeepr's Opinion
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07/19/2015
This is a waste of tax dollars that could go to something actually useful, like a huge wall at the southern border.
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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
    IntroducedMarch 11th, 2015

What is Senate Bill S. 720?

This bill aims to create a national energy efficiency strategy by promoting upgrades to residential and commercial buildings that would reduce energy costs. It would also create a program to train workers on the processes involved in retrofitting and operating energy efficient commercial buildings.

In spite of this broad support (across the aisle and from some 270 environmental advocacy groups and business trade organizations) previous versions of this bill have failed to pass beyond the amendment process.

Impact

Homeowners; businesses; state and local planning departments; Small Business Administration (SBA); Department of Energy (DOE); General Services Administration (GSA); and The Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Cost of Senate Bill S. 720

$350.00 Million
A CBO cost estimate of this version of the bill is unavailable. However, Bloomberg reports that this version will likely cost $350 million over five years. The National Resource Defense Council offers a more precise, but similar estimate at $357 million over that period. This represents a decrease from a previous iteration of this legislation that was projected to cost $600 million. The change is caused by the elimination of a program that would have financed commercial energy efficiency improvements.

More Information

In Depth: This directs the DOE Secretary to help update national building codes to promote energy efficiency. While trying to meet energy saving goals, these updates should also encourage and support of state and local governments in adopting building codes that meet or exceed the national codes for energy efficiency. 

It would provide funding for grants to establish training and assessment centers at higher education institutions. These would be used to identify concepts and technologies for improving a building’s energy performance. DOE grants would also be offered to eligible nonprofit partnerships to pay the federal share of career skills training for students obtaining a certification to install energy efficient technologies.

The head of the SBA would be required to streamline the consideration of applications from eligible small businesses for loans under the Small Business Act. These applicants would be empowered to implement recommendations of the industrial research and assessment centers.

The Secretary would also have to set goals for reducing waste, conserving natural resources, and preventing pollution — while also issuing guidance for federal agencies to employ advanced tools that promote energy efficiency.


The GSA would be authorized to update building designs to meet energy efficiency guidelines for projects that have received congressional funding.

The OMB would be required to develop and publish a goal for the total amount of increased productivity, in addition to energy and cost savings from the consolidation of federal data centers during the next five years. The Department of Defense (DOD) would be exempted from this goal.  

Media:

(Photo Credit: US News)

AKA

Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2015

Official Title

A bill to promote energy savings in residential buildings and industry, and for other purposes.

    “The biggest national security threat facing the United States [is climate change]." [thinkprogress.org]
    Like (90)
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    "I’ll give you one regulation. So I build, and I build a lot of stuff. And I go into areas where they have tremendous water... And you have sinks where the water doesn’t come out. You have showers where I can’t wash my hair properly. It’s a disaster." [thehill.com]
    Like (35)
    Follow
    Share
    Competition makes things affordable for the general population. Energy efficient products is no different. The private sector will sort itself out, and government needs to butt out.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    If promoting home energy efficiency is deepened important for our country as a whole, we all have the responsibility of making sure we follow through. The government is there for a reason. It doesn't want to just boss everyone around. It's there to make sure that people make the right decisions. Whether or not individuals or businesses understand why the decision is right isn't important. They just need to follow them because they're what is right.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    Support the growth of Solar technology so the average American can afford it.
    Like (5)
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    Share
    "'I have the energy to rein in regulation." [cnn.com]
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    When your home is more efficient it uses less energy and loses less energy as well. That reduces costs per household, which reduces the amount of power we need to provide with infrastructure. So yes efficiency is always beneficial and should be strived for. As well as voted for.
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    This is a waste of tax dollars that could go to something actually useful, like a huge wall at the southern border.
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    Oh dear, didn't we squander enough seed money with Solyndra type start ups who were pals or contributors to Obama?
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    Energy efficiency is good for environmentalist cuz less emissions and capitalists cuz less money in the long run. Who could have an issue with that?
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    The federal government has no business telling people how to save money on energy if it is cost effective people will do it on their own.
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    Maybe we should do this when we can prove that solar technology is cost effective and efficient. However, this should never be mandated.
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    Yes our gov is elected to be the stewards of our future. We all know our future is in ending our harmful environmental practices and pursuing a synchronistic policy with nature. If gov is incentivizing this process then you should say hell yes and give your rep a thank you and high five
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    None of the federal governments business. If I want to save money by taking action to be more efficient, that is my choice.
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    Bring down the cost for the private sector, they will come
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    Far too much overreach by the government, they're wasting far more money and resources trying to govern every little aspect of our lives than we ever could and we actually are paying higher prices if we are wasteful, who pays for their wastefulness?
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    Why wouldn't we move to be more economically friendly? This is a "duh"!
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    If the American people could they would... The government shouldn't feel obligated to force us to do something else haven't already embraced.
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    Making businesses and homes more energy efficient will help improve the economy through less use of energy, which equals less money spent on utilities for families and businesses, resulting in better usages of money to benefit families and businesses.
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    The only reason why solar and wind energy haven't really taken off in this country (read: the reason they're being suppressed) is because Big Oil can't claim ownership of the sun or the wind. Sure, the oil executives own all the oil fields, the wells, and the drilling equipment, and are happily willing to send American soldiers to die for the oil beneath our feet, but the wind and the sun are part of the collective heritage of mankind. No one can own it, because it belongs to all of us, and only to all of us.
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