[Senate Report 114-408]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]

                                                      Calendar No. 223
114th Congress     }                                    {       Report
 2d Session        }                                    {      114-408




               December 20, 2016.--Ordered to be printed

   Filed, under authority of the order of the Senate of December 10 
                  (legislative day, December 9), 2016


Mr. Vitter, from the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 1756]

    The Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, to 
which was referred the bill (S. 1756) to help small businesses 
take advantage of energy efficiency, having considered the 
same, reports favorably thereon without amendment and 
recommends that the bill do pass.

                            I. INTRODUCTION

    The Small Business Energy Efficiency Act of 2015 (S. 1756) 
was introduced by Senator Jeanne Shaheen, for herself and 
Senator Christopher A. Coons and Senator Mazie K. Hirono on 
July 14, 2015.
    The Act amends the Small Business Investment Act of 1958 to 
allow a state development company to use the economic 
development objective of helping small businesses achieve 
savings through energy efficiency to qualify for loan 
assistance. During the markup of the bill, the bill was 
approved unanimously by voice vote.


    The Certified Development Company (CDC)/504 loan program at 
the SBA provides financing for major fixed assets such as 
equipment or real estate. To be eligible for 504 loans, 
applicants must meet several eligibility requirements, 
including, but not limited to: operating as a for-profit 
company; conducting or proposing to conduct business in the 
United States or its possessions, and having the ability to 
repay the loan on time from the operating cash flow of the 
business. While small businesses can and do utilize the 504 
loan program for energy efficiency projects, the law currently 
does not identify energy efficiency as a public policy goal of 
the program. In order for small entities to have additional 
certainty that the 504 loan program is available to undertake 
energy efficiency projects, language to that effect should be 
codified in statute.

                      III. HEARINGS & ROUNDTABLES

    The Committee held a hearing on July 14, 2015 entitled 
``Challenges and Opportunities for Small Businesses Engaged in 
Energy Development and Energy Intensive Manufacturing.'' At the 
hearing, witnesses noted that, according to the National 
Federation of Independent Businesses, energy use is among the 
top costs of doing business for many small businesses. However, 
the barriers and challenges for small businesses to take 
advantage of energy efficiency are much greater than in the 
case of large companies.

                        IV. DESCRIPTION OF BILL

    The bill amends the Section 504 lending program at the SBA 
to clarify that energy efficiency is a category under which 
projects can qualify for the program.

                           V. COMMITTEE VOTE

    In compliance with rule XXVI (7)(b) of the Standing Rules 
of the Senate, the following vote was recorded on July 29, 
    A motion to adopt the Small Business Energy Efficiency Act, 
a bill to help small businesses take advantage of energy 
efficiency was approved unanimously by voice vote with the 
following Senators present: Senators Vitter, Scott, Fischer, 
Gardner, Ernst, Enzi, Shaheen, Cantwell, Heitkamp, Booker, 
Hirono, and Peters.

                           VI. COST ESTIMATE

    In compliance with rule XXVI (11)(a)(1) of the Standing 
Rules of the Senate, the Committee estimates the cost of the 
legislation will be equal to the amounts discussed in the 
following letter from the Congressional Budget Office:
                                                     July 29, 2015.
    S. 1756 would broaden the activities that the Small 
Business Administration (SBA) may consider when determining 
whether to offer loan guarantees under the Small Business 
Investment Company (SBIC) program. The bill would allow the SBA 
to consider whether an applicant would help small businesses 
use energy more efficiently.
    Under current law, businesses participating in the SBIC 
program are required to pay various fees that are sufficient to 
offset the program's estimated subsidy cost, that is, the 
estimated long-term cost to the government of a loan guarantee, 
calculated on a net-present-value basis. Based on information 
from the SBA, CBO expects that broadening the activities that 
would make firms eligible to receive a loan guarantee would not 
affect the estimated net subsidy cost of the SBIC program, nor 
would the changes significantly increase the cost to administer 
the program, which is recorded in the budget on a cash basis. 
Therefore, CBO estimates that implementing S. 1756 would have 
no significant effect on discretionary spending. Enacting S. 
1756 would have no effect on direct spending or revenues; 
therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    S. 1756 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Susan Willie. 
The estimate was approved by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.


    In compliance with rule XXVI (11)(b) of the Standing Rules 
of the Senate, it is the opinion of the Committee that no 
significant additional regulatory impact will be incurred in 
carrying out the provisions of this legislation. There will be 
no additional impact on the personal privacy of companies or 
individuals who utilize the services provided.


Section 1. Title

    This section clarifies the title of the bill. This Act may 
be cited as the ``Small Business Energy Efficiency Act of 

Section 2. Energy efficiency

    This section amends existing code to expand the Small 
Business Administration's 504 lending program to businesses 
looking to invest in energy efficiency. It achieves this by 
adding ``energy efficiency'' as a public policy goal under the 
program's statutory objectives.