The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) applauds the House of Representatives for passing comprehensive energy legislation, the North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act (H.R. 8), by a vote of 249 to 171 – largely along Party lines.
The bill includes an NLBMDA-supported provision championed by Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Kurt Schrader (D-OR) known as “Blackburn/Schrader,” which clearly defines the Department of Energy’s (DOE) role in new model energy code development and guarantees that certain products and technologies are not given preferential treatment.
The “Blackburn/Schrader” language seeks to define DOE’s role in code development by:
- Increasing Transparency: Requires the Department of Energy (DOE) to publish energy savings targets, code change proposals and all supporting analysis and methodology in the Federal Register and accept public comment;
- Ensuring Product and Technology-Neutrality: Strengthens DOE’s role as a neutral, technical advisor, but prohibits DOE from advocating for certain products/technologies; and,
- Promoting Cost-Effectiveness: Requires any code or proposal supported by DOE to have a simple payback (increased compliance costs should be paid back through utility savings) of 10 years or less.
NLBMDA continues its efforts in the Senate to pass comprehensive energy legislation that includes language increasing transparency and cost-effectiveness in the development of model energy codes, which set the baseline for energy efficiency in buildings.