Energy-, Money-Saving Program Could Get New Lease on Life Thanks to Senate Action, Says Alliance to Save Energy

Release Date: Friday, June 25, 2004

Washington, D.C., June 24, 2004 – A bipartisan amendment extending Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPC) through October 2005 will save the federal government precious tax dollars and make federal agencies more energy efficient, the Alliance to Save Energy said today. According to Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), the popular and innovative ESPC program is the premier tool for promoting energy efficiency within the federal government, and when the program lapsed last October, it halted more than $300 million in projects nationwide.

Under an ESPC, an energy services company privately finances projects that increase the energy efficiency of a federal facility – with no up-front costs to the government agency. The company is paid back in the resulting energy savings – saving millions of tax dollars each year.

“ESPCs have saved taxpayers millions in unnecessary energy costs while creating thousands of private-sector jobs,” said Alliance President Kateri Callahan. “We commend the Senators who joined together across party lines to protect the program for two years. We call upon the House to agree, and once that is accomplished, Congress needs to authorize the program on a permanent basis.”

The amendment was championed by Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) with cosponsors including Alliance Vice Chairs Bingaman and Sen. Susan Collins, as well as Alliance Chairman Byron Dorgan (D-ND), as part of the Defense Authorization Bill that passed the Senate last night.

“The Alliance to Save Energy and the entire energy-efficiency community thank Sen. Inhofe and the 19 cosponsors for their work in getting ESPCs back on track,” Callahan added. Added 6/28: Read a Washington Post editorial: "Silver Lining".