President Obama on Thursday signed into law the Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2015 co-sponsored by U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R., Ohio), Mr. Portman's office announced.

The bill was co-sponsored by U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D., N.H.).

Mr. Portman called it, "an important part of our energy plan for America that can help bring jobs back, help make our manufacturers more competitive, and actually help to protect the environment."

The law is a "pull-out" from a more comprehensive energy-related bill by Mr. Portman and Ms. Shaheen that is still stuck in Congress.

The law allows tenants of buildings that have been certified as energy-efficient to also establish and claim energy efficiency. Those tenants would get a "Tenant Star" rating.

It exempts electric water heaters in certain circumstances typically found in rural areas from a pending Department of Energy regulation. The electric water heater provision applies to rural cooperatives that encourages consumers to operate water heaters during nonpeak times. Those types of water heaters could not be manufactured under the pending regulation.

And it requires federal agencies in leased buildings to report their energy usage data.

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