U.S. Senators Tina Smith, Peter Welch Introduce Bill to Increase Energy Efficiency Capabilities Across America

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN), joined by her colleague Senator Peter Welch (D-VT), introduced legislation that would boost the use of cutting-edge technologies to increase energy efficiency capabilities across America. Studies have estimated that a national energy efficiency resource standard (EERS) would save consumers over $56 billion on their energy bills and could create 400,000 jobs. 

“Increasing our energy efficiency is one of the most effective tools we have to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and cut back on the amount of energy we use overall,” said Sen. Smith. “This bill would save families money on energy costs and build upon the good work that states are already doing, including by leveraging the Inflation Reduction Act’s unprecedented federal investment in clean energy efficient technologies.”

“Vermont is proud to be a national leader in the fight against climate change—including the first statewide energy efficiency utility in the country. These efforts have transformed the way Vermonters use energy, saving billions of dollars in energy bills, creating green jobs, and eliminating millions of tons of carbon emissions in the process. The American Energy Efficiency Act builds on Vermont’s success by establishing a nationwide efficiency standard for retail electric and natural gas utilities and making efficiency upgrades more affordable for families across the country,” said Senator Welch.

Specifically, the American Energy Efficiency Act would build upon state successes to establish a national energy efficiency resource standard (EERS). This bill would help all states benefit from commercial, cost-effective energy savings technologies by: 

  • Setting the parameters for a national EERS, which would be administered by each state.
  • Requiring retail electric and natural gas utilities to achieve energy savings of 22% and 14%, respectively, by the year 2039.
  • Encouraging distributors to obtain energy savings in a variety of ways, including helping customers save energy by upgrading insulation, lighting, and appliances.
  • Directing the Department of Energy to set uniform national energy savings measurement protocols for retailers to measure, verify, and report energy savings achieved.
  • Allowing states to continue to administer their own programs and encourage them to adopt even more stringent efficiency goals.

You can read the full text of the bill here and view the one-pager here.