From Paula Glover: What You Can Do To Help Build Back Brighter

From Paula Glover: What You Can Do To Help Build Back Brighter

Let's Save Energy

Alliance to Save Energy's Blog

08/10/21 / Paula R. Glover

From Paula Glover: What You Can Do To Help Build Back Brighter

Building Back Brighter

2021 began with many predictions of this finally being the year of infrastructure action, and more than halfway through (!), it looks like those bets will pay off. The Senate has passed a bipartisan infrastructure package, and a number of bills that would initiate historic progress on energy efficiency are close to the finish line, including some of the policies the Alliance has identified as priorities for our climate and economy. But if you’re like me and spent the past couple of weeks with the Olympics on in the background of your work day, you know gold medalists never end a marathon at a walk: it’s time to sprint with all muscles fired. I’d like to share with you today where the race for energy-efficient infrastructure stands in Congress, and importantly, how you can help.

Energy-Efficient Infrastructure Legislation

Two weeks ago, I wrote about some of the highest-impact energy efficiency policies that Congress must act on. Since then, there have been some exciting developments. Last week, the Main Street Efficiency Act was introduced in Congress by Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.). This legislation has the potential to transform small business energy efficiency across the country. The bill as introduced would establish a Department of Energy grant program matching incentives offered by utility Demand Side Management (DSM) programs for small business efficiency retrofits. Grants would be prioritized to utilities that serve diverse small businesses and utilize diverse suppliers to help address the disproportionate impact the pandemic has had on minority-owned businesses and to build more inclusive DSM programs. For small businesses, this means low- or even no-cost efficiency upgrades that will result in substantial cost savings; for utilities, this means increasing DSM participation and diversity; and for energy efficiency contractors – the majority of whom are small businesses themselves – this would stimulate demand for retrofits after a devastating year of job losses.

The best part? Main Street has a viable path forward on Capitol Hill. Congress is making progress on its two-track approach to infrastructure, and the Main Street Efficiency Act is positioned to develop support as a stand-alone or for possible inclusion in a budget reconciliation measure.

The good news continues for other Alliance infrastructure priorities. Recently, the Alliance sent a letter to Congressional tax leadership signed by 1,066 organizations calling for reforms to the Sec. 25C homeowner energy efficiency tax credit, and 75 leading companies and advocates called for doubling ENERGY STAR’s budget in an Alliance-led letter to appropriators. The Open Back Better Act has been introduced in both the House and Senate, and we have been building support on Capitol Hill to ensure it is included in a final package. These policies can go a long way toward driving energy efficiency into every community and enhancing equitable access to the energy affordability, job creation, and climate benefits that efficiency brings.

What You Can Do

Your support can help ensure these policies reach President Biden’s desk. Here are three things you can do today to help:

  • Endorse. Use our Google Form to sign on as a Main Street Efficiency Act endorser, and/or to sign a letter to the Hill asking for the legislation's inclusion in an infrastructure package. To get involved with other Alliance priorities or to ask any questions, contact Alliance Senior Vice President of Policy & Research Vincent Barnes at
  • Write. It only takes a minute to ask your representatives to support efficient infrastructure using our action alerts. Write in support of Main Street and/or Alliance tax incentives, or sign up to receive email notifications of new alerts here.  
  • Tweet. Follow the Alliance’s Twitter and LinkedIn for the latest news, and get out the word about the Main Street Efficiency Act with our communications toolkit.

We’re rounding the final corners of infrastructure negotiations because a broad coalition of advocates, lawmakers, and organizations have demanded action. Let’s kick into high gear at this crucial time and ensure that Congress Builds Back Brighter with legislation that builds energy efficiency into our infrastructure for a stronger economy and environment in the decades to come.




Help the Alliance advocate for policies to use energy more efficiently – supporting job creation, reduced emissions, and lower costs. Contact your member of Congress.


Energy efficiency is smart, nonpartisan, and practical. So are we. Our strength comes from an unparalleled group of Alliance Associates working collaboratively under the Alliance umbrella to pave the way for energy efficiency gains.


The power of efficiency is in your hands. Supporting the Alliance means supporting a vision for using energy more productively to achieve economic growth, a cleaner environment, and greater energy security, affordability, and reliability.