IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
June 20, 2013
Mr. Sanders (for himself and Mr. Wyden) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
To amend the Energy Policy and Conservation Act to promote energy efficiency and energy savings in residential buildings.
This Act may be cited as the
Residential Energy Savings Act of
State residential building energy efficiency upgrades loan pilot program
Loans for residential building energy efficiency upgrades
Part D of title III of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act ( 42 U.S.C. 6321 et seq. ) is amended by adding at the end the following:
Loans for residential building energy efficiency upgrades
In this section:
Consumer-friendly loan repayment approach
The term consumer-friendly loan repayment approach means a loan repayment method that—
emphasizes convenience for customers;
is of low cost to consumers; and
may tie loan repayment to an existing bill of the consumer.
The term eligible entity means—
a State or territory of the United States; and
an Indian tribal government.
Energy advisor program
The term energy advisor program means any program to provide to homeowners or residents advice, information, and support in the identification, prioritization, and implementation of energy efficiency and energy savings measures.
The term energy advisor program includes a program that provides—
interpretation of energy audit reports;
assistance in the prioritization of improvements;
assistance in finding qualified contractors;
assistance in contractor bid reviews;
education on energy conservation, renewable energy, and energy efficiency;
explanations of available incentives and tax credits;
assistance in completion of rebate and incentive paperwork; and
any other similar type of support.
The term energy efficiency means a reduction in energy use, including thermal energy for heating.
Energy efficiency upgrade
The term energy efficiency upgrade means any project or activity carried out on a residential building to increase energy efficiency.
The term energy efficiency upgrade includes the installation or improvement of renewable energy for heating or electricity generation serving a residential building carried out in conjunction with an energy efficiency project or activity.
The term residential building means a building used for residential purposes.
The term residential building includes—
a single-family residence;
a multifamily residence composed not more than 4 units; and
a mixed-use building that includes not more than 4 residential units.
Establishment of program
The Secretary shall establish a program under this part under which the Secretary shall make available to eligible entities loans for the purpose of establishing or expanding programs that provide to residential property owners or tenants financing for energy efficiency upgrades of residential buildings.
No requirement to participate
No eligible entity shall be required to participate in any manner in the program established under paragraph (1).
To be eligible to receive a loan under this section, an eligible entity shall submit to the Secretary an application at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require.
In selecting eligible entities to receive loans under this section, the Secretary shall—
to the maximum extent practicable, ensure—
that both innovative and established approaches to the challenges of financing energy efficiency upgrades are supported;
regional diversity among recipients, including participation by rural States and small States; and
significant participation by low- and medium-income families;
evaluate applications based primarily on—
the projected reduction in energy use;
the extent to which Federal funds are used to leverage additional funding from State, local, philanthropic, private sector, and other sources;
the creditworthiness of the eligible entity; and
the incorporation of measures, such as on-bill repayment, for making the loan repayment system for recipients of financing as consumer-friendly as practicable; and
evaluate applications based secondarily on—
the extent to which the proposed financing program of the eligible entity incorporates best practices for such a program, as determined by the Secretary;
whether the eligible entity has created a plan for evaluating the effectiveness of the proposed financing program;
the extent to which the proposed financing program incorporates energy advisor programs and support programs designed to increase the effectiveness of the program;
the projected quantity of renewable energy to be generated, to the extent that renewable energy generation will be included;
the extent to which the proposed financing program will be coordinated and marketed with other existing or planned energy efficiency programs administered by—
State, tribal, territorial, or local governments; or
community development financial institutions; and
such other factors as the Secretary determines to be appropriate.
The Secretary shall establish terms and interest rates for loans provided to eligible entities under this section in a manner that—
provides for a high degree of cost recovery; and
ensures that the loans are competitive with, or superior to, other forms of financing for similar purposes.
The Secretary shall establish a performance incentive providing a repayment discount for eligible entities in an amount equal to not more than the value of the interest accrued on the loan provided to the applicable eligible entity under this section, based on performance as evaluated in accordance with the factors described in subparagraphs (B) and (C) of subsection (c)(2).
Use of funds
An eligible entity shall use a loan provided under this section to establish or expand a financing program—
the purpose of which is to enable residential building owners or tenants to conduct energy efficiency upgrades of residential buildings;
that may not require any initial capital, excluding fees; and
that incorporates a consumer-friendly loan repayment approach.
Structure of financing program
The financing program of an eligible entity may—
primarily or entirely of a financing program administered by—
the applicable State; or
a local government, utility, or other entity; or
of a combination of programs described in clause (i); and
rely on financing provided by—
the eligible entity; or
a third party, acting through the eligible entity.
Form of assistance
Assistance provided by an eligible entity under this subsection may be in the form of—
a revolving loan fund;
a credit enhancement structure designed to mitigate the effects of default; or
a program that—
adopts any other approach for providing financing for energy efficiency upgrades producing significant energy efficiency gains;
produces a high-leverage ratio of non-Federal funds; and
incorporates measures for making the loan repayment system for recipients of financing as consumer-friendly as practicable.
Scope of assistance
Assistance provided by an eligible entity under this subsection may be used to pay for costs associated with carrying out an energy efficiency upgrade, including materials and labor.
An eligible entity shall repay to the Secretary the amount of a loan provided under this section, together with—
interest accrued on that amount; and
such fees as the Secretary determines to be necessary to recover any portion of the costs of the program under this section.
Not later than 2 years after the date of receipt of the loan, and annually thereafter for the term of the loan, an eligible entity that receives a loan under this section shall submit to the Secretary a report describing the performance of each program and activity carried out using the loan, including anonymized loan performance data.
The Secretary, in consultation with eligible entities and other stakeholders (such as lending institutions and the real estate industry), shall establish such requirements for the reports under this paragraph as the Secretary determines to be appropriate—
to ensure that the reports are clear, consistent, and straightforward; and
taking into account the reporting requirements for similar programs in which the eligible entities are participating, if any.
The Secretary shall submit to Congress and make available to the public—
not less frequently than once each year, a report describing the performance of the program under this section, including a synthesis and analysis of the information provided in the reports submitted to the Secretary under paragraph (1)(A); and
on termination of the program under this section, an assessment of the success of, and education provided by, the measures carried out by eligible entities during the term of the program.
The Secretary may provide to eligible entities a total of not more than $2,000,000,000 in loans under this section for the costs of activities described in subsection (e) .
Part D of title III of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act ( 42 U.S.C. 6321 et seq.) is amended—
by redesignating sections 362, 363, 364, 365, and 366 as sections 364, 365, 366, 363, and 362, respectively, and moving the sections so as to appear in numerical order;
in section 362 (as so redesignated)—
paragraph (3)(B)(i), by striking
section 367, and and inserting
section 367 (as in effect on the day before the date of enactment of the
State Energy Efficiency Programs Improvement Act of 1990 (
42 U.S.C. 6201
Public Law 101–440
)); and; and
each of paragraphs (4) and (6), by striking
each place it appears and inserting
in section 363 (as so redesignated)—
subsection (b), by striking
the provisions of sections 362 and 364 and
subsection (a) of section 363 and inserting
365(a), and 366
subsection (g)(1)(A), in the second sentence, by striking
362 and inserting
section 364; and
in section 365 (as so redesignated)—
in subsection (a)—
in paragraph (1),
section 362, and inserting
(2), by striking
section 362(b) or (e) and inserting
subsection (b) or (e) of section 364
subsection (b)(2), in the matter preceding subparagraph (A), by striking
section 362(b) or (e) and inserting
subsection (b) or (e)
of section 364
Section 391 of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act ( 42 U.S.C. 6371 ) is amended—
(2)(M), by striking
section 365(e)(2) and inserting
(10), by striking
section 362 of this Act and inserting
The table of contents of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act ( 42 U.S.C. 6201 note; Public Law 94–163 ) is amended by striking the items relating to part D of title III and inserting the following:
Part D—State energy conservation programs
Sec. 361. Findings and purpose.
Sec. 362. Definitions.
Sec. 363. General provisions.
Sec. 364. State energy conservation plans.
Sec. 365. Federal assistance to States.
Sec. 366. State energy efficiency goals.
Sec. 367. Loans for residential building energy efficiency upgrades.
The budgetary effects of this Act, for the purpose of
complying with the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010, shall be determined by
reference to the latest statement titled
Budgetary Effects of PAYGO
Legislation for this Act, submitted for printing in the Congressional
Record by the Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, provided that such
statement has been submitted prior to the vote on passage.
Advance appropriations required
An authorization of appropriations under this Act or an amendment made by this Act shall be effective for a fiscal year only to the extent and in the amounts provided in advance in appropriations Acts.