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McKinley, Welch introduce bipartisan energy efficiency bills

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U.S. Reps. David B. McKinley, R-W.Va., and Peter Welch, D-Vt., introduced two pieces of bipartisan legislation aimed at spurring energy efficiency investments in residential and commercial buildings and creating construction jobs.

"These are common-sense ideas that will create jobs, save money for consumers and conserve energy," McKinley said. "This issue transcends political ideology."

The Home Owner Managing Energy Savings, or HOMES, Act would provide rebates to homeowners who invest in energy efficiency improvements.

The Better Buildings Act would help commercial landlords and tenants coordinate energy savings practices. The legislation encourages tenants and landlords to work hand in hand in making buildings more efficient. The Department of Energy would then issue "TENANT STAR" certifications, in the same way that buildings can qualify for ENERGY STAR recognition, to demonstrate their energy efficiency and attract investors and occupants.   

"Vermont has lead the nation in energy efficiency," Welch said.

"These bills would take the Vermont model and apply it across the country," he said. "Encouraging energy efficiency in the private sector is a win-win-win for the consumer, the economy and the environment.  And, in an era of partisan gridlock, energy efficiency is a practical, common sense  idea where Democrats and Republicans can find common ground."

In April, McKinley and Welch introduced the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act, H.R. 1616, which puts commercial building landlords and tenants on the same page with regard to reducing energy consumption. 

Reps. McKinley and Welch co-chair the High Performance Building Caucus.