Energy Leaders Call For Action on “Race to the Top” Efficiency Legislation

Release Date: Monday, July 22, 2013

Bill to help meet Energy 2030 goal to Double U.S. Energy Productivity

Today, leaders across diverse economic sectors called for action on the “State Energy Race to the Top Initiative” sponsored by Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Joe Manchin (D- W.Va). The group, made up of members of the Alliance Commission on National Energy Efficiency Policy, claims the bill will enable the U.S. to double its energy productivity by 2030—a goal supported by President Barack Obama.

Led by the Alliance to Save Energy, National Grid, and Opower, the dynamic group delivered a letter signed by 16 energy leaders imploring Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Ranking Member Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) to include the bill as an amendment to the “Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2013” (S. 761) sponsored by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio.).

“We cannot let this opportunity go by the wayside. This legislation is a crucial step to achieve the Energy 2030 goal and save American families and businesses billions,” said Alliance president Kateri Callahan. “This competition will give states and local governments the tools and support needed to lead from the front and make a difference where it really matters.”

Modeled after the successful education “Race to the Top,” the initiative is a key pillar of the Commission’s own Energy 2030 report that calls for the U.S. to double its energy productivity by 2030, which would save Americans $327 billion annually, add 1.3 million jobs, and reduce carbon emissions 33 percent below 2005 levels.

“Today, the U.S. has the unfortunate distinction of being a leader globally in energy waste,” commented Tom King, National Grid president and co-chair of the Commission with Sen. Warner. “By adopting the Race to the Top legislation and other key tenets of Energy 2030, we can dramatically increase our energy productivity while giving the economy a serious shot in the arm.”

Envisioning a friendly competition that rewards states and Native American tribes for developing the best innovations and strategies for increasing energy productivity, the “State Energy Race to the Top Initiative” leverages $200 million to deliver energy savings right to American families, increase national energy productivity, and boost American economic competiveness.

"The Race to the Top initiative is a common sense approach that will accelerate the elimination of outdated regulation, spur innovative reform of energy markets and energize our economy,” said Opower president and founder Alex Laskey. “Because the National Research Council is required to independently evaluate program performance, we also know that it will lead to measureable improvement in US energy productivity."

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