AWC: Energy efficiency legislation should be product neutral

Apr 30, 2015

WASHINGTON – American Wood Council (AWC) President and CEO Robert Glowinski has issued the following statement regarding today's hearings in the U.S. House and Senate on energy efficiency legislation.

The House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power heard testimony on a draft energy efficiency bill, which includes language from the Energy Savings and Building Efficiency Act of 2015 (H.R. 1273) co-sponsored by Reps. Marsha Blackburn (TN) and Kurt Schrader (OR). AWC strongly supports the inclusion of this language in any final House energy efficiency bill, particularly the provisions which advocate building energy code product neutrality and defining the role of the Department of Energy in development of state building energy codes as technical advisor only.

"The draft House bill seeks to ensure product neutrality so all building materials have the opportunity to be used to meet building energy efficiency standards. Wood construction is inherently capable of providing good thermal performance, helping to meet even the strictest energy requirements, while at the same time sequestering carbon from the air. Wood buildings can require less energy to construct and operate over time, and a green building that requires less operating energy will ultimately save on electricity bills and increase property values," Glowinski said.

The Senate Environment and Natural Resources heard testimony on the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2015 (S. 720), which is co-sponsored by Sens. Rob Portman (OH) and Jeanne Shaheen (NH).

"We also appreciate the Senate reviewing the important issue of energy efficiency in building codes. However, building energy codes should not provide preferential treatment to one product over another and we look foward to working with the bill's co-sponsors to improve upon the current language."