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Vote Alert

“NO” on S. 2262, the “Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act.”

May 6, 2014

NTU urges all Senators to vote “NO” on S. 2262, the “Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act.” Intended to promote energy efficiency in residential, commercial, and government buildings, this legislation would increase regulatory burdens and costs with potentially negligible benefits.

Packed with monetary incentives aimed at encouraging states and tribes to adopt stricter building codes, funds for “green job” training, and new mortgage appraisal guidelines, S. 2262 would impose a new federal role where none is needed. New energy efficiency standards would increase upfront costs that won’t necessarily be recouped over the lifecycle of the structure or federal lease. The eventual savings are often overstated or miscalculated due to the fact that many current standards are easily gamed and unreliable. While some homebuilders would likely be happy to see prices rise, the same cannot be said for homebuyers. Those considering a purchase or building from scratch should have the ability to make the energy choices that fit their needs and budget. Many families and businesses have weighed the pros and cons to select sensible efficiency upgrades – improvements which, thanks to new technologies developed in the private sector, are becoming more affordable. A top-down government-imposed mandate is especially ill-advised when the market provides  suitable incentives. In addition, Washington currently has a variety of similar energy efficiency programs, some of which (such as Energy Star) have been cited for poor oversight by federal investigators.

Funding for “green jobs” worker training programs is likewise duplicative. The 2009 stimulus and other initiatives have funneled large sums of taxpayer funds toward this end. Further, studies in other countries with significant investments in green jobs, such as Spain, have found that these government directed schemes have actually displaced and destroyed jobs elsewhere in the “non-green” sectors of the economy. Taxpayers would be better served if Congress focused on saving money and removing the costly regulations that hurt economic growth.

Roll call votes on S. 2262 will be included in NTU’s annual Rating of Congress and a “NO” vote will be considered the pro taxpayer position.

If you have any questions, please contact NTU Federal Affairs Manager Nan Swift at (703) 683-5700