Industry, Consumer Groups Urge New Energy-Efficiency Policies To Combat High Energy Prices, Ensure Adequate Fuel Supplies

Release Date: Thursday, December 1, 2005

Washington, DC, December 20, 2005 Energy-efficiency policies recommended recently to federal and state policymakers by a group of industry and consumer organizations would help take the bite out of high winter heating bills and help secure future natural gas supplies, the Alliance to Save Energy said today.

“Strong leadership from industry and government is vital if our nation is to overcome the significant economic hardship and threat to our security being caused by today’s high energy costs and constrained supplies,” said Alliance President Kateri Callahan. “The industry and consumer groups putting forward legislative recommendations to the Congress recognize that energy efficiency is essential both in the short run, for helping consumers cope with high prices this winter, and in the long run, for meeting our nation’s natural gas needs. We applaud the efforts of this group to press policy makers to take immediate action to advance energy efficiency.”

The energy-efficiency policy recommendations include:

  • Urging Congress to fund the $90 million authorized for fiscal year 2007 under the new energy law to support a broad-based public information campaign that would educate homeowners and businesses on the economic benefits of making homes more energy efficient, the importance of using efficient transportation, and the availability of federal and state financial assistance for energy efficiency;
  • Urging the administration to expand conservation goals for federal buildings;
  • Urging Congress and the administration to expand the energy-efficiency tax incentives included in the Energy Policy Act of 2005;
  • Encouraging states to consider instituting a temporary sales tax holiday on ENERGY STAR and weatherization products (such as caulk and insulation); and
  • Encouraging public utility commissions to support innovative rate designs that would remove the strong financial disincentive for natural gas utilities to promote energy efficiency.

The Alliance also supports the group’s appeal to Congress to increase funding, up to the authorized $5.1 billion, for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

The stakeholders sending these recommendations to members of Congress, the Bush administration, state lawmakers, governors, and state regulators on December 13th were the American Gas Association (AGA), COMPETE, the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), the Electric Power Supply Association (EPSA), the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA), and the Natural Gas Supply Associations (NGSA).