WASHINGTON — In July, the U.S. House Subcommittees on Energy and Power and Oversight and Investigations held a joint hearing to address two bills, one of which was the Smart Energy Act. The Smart Energy Act, also known as Bass-Matheson (named after Reps. Charles Bass, R-N.H., and Jim Matheson, D-Utah), is a bipartisan bill designed to reduce federal energy consumption through expanded use of energy saving performance contracts, consolidation of federal data centers, greater energy use metering in federal buildings, and expanded access to electric vehicles for federal fleets.

“Providing more opportunities for private industry to utilize energy-efficient technologies and systems will spur advancements in this field while at the same time cutting our energy costs,” Rep. Bass was quoted as saying.

The bill, which was originally introduced in February, received encouraging bipartisan support at the hearing, according to the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI). Citing the potential energy and financial savings, speakers at the hearing focused on the potential for private sector job creation through the efficiency improvement work described in Smart Energy Act.

“Introduction of the Bass-Matheson bill moves our nation significantly closer to enactment of important energy efficiency legislation this year,” stated Kateri Callahan, president of the Alliance to Save Energy.

It has been reported that the Energy and Commerce Committee is expected to hold full hearings on the bill this fall.

Publication date: 9/10/2012