Wyden preps for summer of energy efficiency, Hanford work

Sen. Ron Wyden (left) and Portland City Commissioner Steve Novick both want to see the Shaheen-Portman bill, which would provide more energy-efficiency incentives, make it through Congress.

Sen. Ron Wyden (left) and Portland City Commissioner Steve Novick both want to see the Shaheen-Portman bill, which would provide more energy-efficiency incentives, make it through Congress.

Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden is planning to spend much of the next several weeks working on a critical efficiency bill that his Energy and Natural Resources Committee will take up next week.

Wyden, in town last week for a Clean Energy Works roundtable, said the committee, which he chairs, will begin looking into the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act.

The measure, dubbed the Shaheen-Portman bill in a nod to its sponsors, aims to spur the use of energy efficiency technologies in residential, commercial and industrial projects. It would do so by strengthening building codes to make new homes and commercial buildings more efficient, creating the “Commercial Building Energy Efficiency Financing Initiative” incentive and by increasing training of workers who’d specialize in pro-energy design and construction.

It would also fortify supply chains through a program called SupplySTAR, which would promote efficient materials.

Wyden said the Eastside Exchange Building, a Beam Development project located at the Burnside Bridgehead, exemplifies projects that would benefit from the Shaheen-Portman bill. The building provided the venue for the Clean Energy works event.

“This project reflects the challenges that Shaheen-Portman would address,” said Wyden. “I just took a zip around the building. In these walls and wires and pipes, there are real savings to be made for consumers and businesses. The challenge is to come up with policies that get those savings out of the walls and pipes and wires and into the wallets of our consumers and our businesses.”

The legislation, he added, will particularly help suppliers that sell environmentally proven materials.

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