SPRAYFOAM Professional - Summer 2015 - (Page 25)

LEGisLativE uPDatE thE briGhtuP writE-uP... brinGinG thE bELtwaY to You BY CraIG BrIGHTUp, THE BrIGHTUp GroUp LLC is an EnErGY biLL in conGrEss's futurE? O n March 11, Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) reintroduced the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness (ESIC) Act (S. 720) in this Congress. Their bill has generated bipartisan support in the past, but stalled out in the last Congress because then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) wouldn't allow amendments on issues such as the Keystone pipeline. Often called "Shaheen-Portman" in previous Congresses, it will be called "Portman-Shaheen" now that Republicans are in control of the Senate. Regardless, its main thrust continues to be giving the Secretary of Energy (DOE) a bigger role in prodding state energy-efficiency building codes to be more aggressive by adhering to more ambitious goals. This would be done though a National Model Building Energy Code in sync with code updates done every three years by the International Code Counsel (ICC) and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and AirConditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). To ensure transparency, such a Code would be formulated in conjunction with a public rulemaking in which all interested parties, including SPFA, could submit comments. Also, technological and economic feasibility thresholds would be established, and DOE would have to disclose data relative to its energy savings and return on investment calculations. In addition, the ESIC Act has incorporated 10 bipartisan amendments including the Sensible Accounting to Value Energy (SAVE) Act, which has been sponsored by Sens. Michael Benet (D-CO) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA). The SAVE Act would create a new mortgage underwriting and appraisal process that reflects homeowner energy costs. The net value of the energy savings would be added to a home's appraised value, thus qualifying it for a larger mortgage. As such, the builder/seller would realize a greater return and federal loan agencies would consider a buyer's expected energy costs when determining the ability to make mortgage payments. This program would only apply to loans controlled by federal agencies and, like the ESIC Act, is supported by business and environmental organizations. Now that the Keystone vote is out of the way, sponsors hope that if and when the ESIC Act is brought up for consideration, it won't be a magnet for other controversial amendments. However, the last time an energy bill came to the Senate floor for votes was in 2007, so there's a lot of pent up demand for amendments which explains why 10 were incorporated into S. 720 out of the gate. On a positive note, of the 41 votes that took place earlier this year on amendments to the Senate's Keystone Pipeline bill, only four were approved and most were "sense of the Senate" resolutions. But the most substantive one was an energy-efficiency package by Sens. Portman and Shaheen that was a smaller version of the ESIC Act. The Keystone bill was vetoed, but this augers well for the full ESIC Act to get another chance as a free-standing bill on the Senate floor. In addition Senate Energy Committee Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) has said she'll work on a comprehensive energy bill later this spring with titles on infrastructure, supply, efficiency and accountability. And, on the other side of Capitol Hill, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) issued a statement saying that he'll be drafting comprehensive energy legislation, too. o Craig Brightup is chief executive officer of the brightup Group LLc, a government relations firm in washington, D.c. he has provided services for 18 different organizations since 2009, including the u.s. chamber of commerce and national roofing contractors association. Now that the Keystone vote is out of the way, sponsors hope that if and when the ESIC Act is brought up for consideration, it won't be a magnet for other controversial amendments." www.sprayfoam.org | sprayfoam Professional 25 http://www.sprayfoam.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of SPRAYFOAM Professional - Summer 2015

Executive Director’s Corner
President’s Post
Foam Business News
SPFA Today
Sprayfoam 2015 Convention and Expo Coverage
The Impact of Negative Media
Legislative Update
Behind the Foam
Speaking Sensibly New Building Codes – Air Tightness, Ventilation and Moisture Control
Communication and Commercial Sprayfoam Projects
ABAA News
2015 SPFA Contractor Awards
Safety First
Ask the Expert
Index of Advertisers | Advertisers.com

SPRAYFOAM Professional - Summer 2015

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