House FY 2015 Spending Plan Shortchanges Energy Efficiency -- America's Most Abundant and Cost Effective Resource
A STATEMENT FROM ALLIANCE'S DIRECTOR OF GOVERNMENT RELATIONS, LIZ TATE
The spending bill advanced yesterday by the House Appropriations Committee’s Energy and Water Development Subcommittee may be penny-wise for the government, but it is pound-foolish for the American economy as it proposes to reduce federal investment in energy efficiency. Energy efficiency has served for nearly four decades and remains today as America’s cheapest, cleanest and most abundant resource.
While the top-line spending level—$34 billion—is only $50 million less than fiscal year 2014, the Subcommittee chose to cut energy efficiency while holding the line and/or increasing funding to other, less cost-effective energy sources.
The Alliance supports robust funding for energy efficiency programs; investing in these key programs is especially important during this time of constrained budgets, as energy efficiency programs have proven to yield benefits far beyond their nominal outlays, both by saving energy and money and by creating jobs. For example, low-income households participating in DOE’s Weatherization Assistance Program save an average of more than $400 on their heating and cooling bills.
The Alliance urges that the Senate provide robust funding for critical energy efficiency programs when it takes up the Energy and Water Spending Bill. We also hope that the light bulb rider—which prohibits the enforcement of existing light bulb standards that could help Americans save more than $10 billion per year—will finally be set aside in this year’s bill, allowing DOE to move forward with enforcing the standards and prevent the import of inferior, energy-wasting bulbs, which hurts American manufacturers.
Federal funding of energy efficiency programs is vitally important to deploying this abundant and cost-effective resource. Federal programs develop and incubate new energy efficiency technologies and practices that have wide-ranging benefits to the American economy. To cut energy efficiency programs now is to shortchange American taxpayers and cut them out of the energy savings and jobs created by energy efficiency. The Alliance looks forward to continuing to work with Congress to ensure that energy efficiency programs are well funded for the benefit of households and businesses across the country.