Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) is supporting a new bill requiring the Federal Trade Commission to consider using smart grid capability on EnergyGuide labels for products.

Mandated by the 1975 Energy Policy and Conservation Act, the bright yellow labels grace everyday appliances like dishwashers and televisions, as well as equipment like boilers and furnaces. They aim to guide consumers on how much energy a given appliance uses and help them compare energy use in different product models.

The bill would amend the act and require FTC to initiate a rulemaking to "consider making a special note in a prominent manner on any Energy Guide label for any product that includes smart grid capability."

A label "will explain the value of smart grid capability within the utility system and how such capability could reduce the consumer's electricity costs ... consumer education is considered a critical component to achieving the energy efficiency potential of the smart grid," a Klobuchar aide said.

Klobuchar introduced the measure with Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) as an amendment to S. 2012, a major energy package that passed the Senate earlier this year. It was not adopted. Similar language from Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) passed the House last year as part of H.R. 8.