Revised Energy Bill Passes House, Heads to Conference Committee

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives approved an amended version of the comprehensive energy bill that the Senate passed in April. It now goes to a joint congressional conference committee, where differences will be resolved to ensure that President Obama signs it.

House Republicans replaced the bipartisan Senate bill with one that the Obama administration has pledged to veto. It was approved by a 241-178 vote.

The revised House proposal, which originally passed in December 2015, includes extra energy and natural resources bills. But it doesn’t have an amendment from the Senate bill that is strongly supported by the Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) and was a focus of its lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill last month.

That measure would direct the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to use energy-efficiency savings from doors, windows and skylights when determining eligibility for an FHA-insured mortgage.

However, the revised House bill does contain an amendment supported by WDMA. It defines the role the Department of Energy (DOE) should play in developing new energy codes and guarantees that some products and technologies don’t receive preferential treatment.

It also promotes efficiency targets for buildings that strike the proper cost-benefit balance, and stops DOE from supporting any code or standard change with a payback period of more than ten years.

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