Administration's Budget Proposes Unacceptable Cuts to Energy Innovation, Efficiency
WASHINGTON – The Alliance to Save Energy released the following statement from President Jason Hartke in response to the Trump administration’s FY 2020 budget proposal, which calls for deeply cutting energy efficiency programs at the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. The budget also called for converting ENERGY STAR to a fee-based program in which companies using the label fund its operations.
“This proposal would take an ax to innovation in our energy sector, cutting critical research funds and energy efficiency investments that have a proven track record of reducing energy costs for consumers and businesses.”
“We look forward to working with Republicans and Democrats in Congress to fight for these programs in the coming months. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have resoundingly rejected these cuts for the past two years because they know the huge economic value these investments deliver. They understand how these programs ensure that the U.S. leads the world in developing energy efficiency technologies, how they support the more than 2.3 million people who work in the energy efficiency sector, and how they drive enormous energy savings, reducing Americans’ energy bills by hundreds of dollars per year while cutting carbon emissions.”
“But we can’t be complacent, because this is an existential threat to the backbone of energy efficiency and all of its many economic and environmental benefits. Even if the endgame for the administration is more modest cuts negotiated with Congress, that is a major threat. These programs are among the smartest investments the federal government makes, and we should be making them stronger, not cutting them.”
More information about the federal energy efficiency investments at stake is available in an Alliance Policy Snapshot.
Key Federal Energy Efficiency Programs
Advanced Manufacturing Office
With a goal of spurring innovation in U.S. manufacturing, AMO works with industry partners, small businesses, universities, and other stakeholders to develop emerging technologies, including improved efficiency, with the potential to strengthen U.S. competitiveness in the manufacturing sector and create high-quality U.S. manufacturing jobs.
Building Technologies Office
Residential and commercial buildings represent more than 40 percent of U.S. annual energy consumption, which equates to a national energy bill of more than $400 billion. BTO leads a network of national laboratory, university, small business and industry partners to develop and deploy innovative, cost-effective energy saving solutions for US buildings, including helping to develop model building energy codes and appliance standards.
Vehicle Technologies Office
VTO supports research, development and deployment of efficient and sustainable transportation technologies that will reduce U.S. dependence on petroleum by improving energy efficiency and fuel economy. These technologies include advanced batteries and electric drive systems, lightweight materials, advanced combustion engines, alternative fuels, as well as energy efficient mobility systems.
Federal Energy Management Program
The U.S. government is the single largest energy consumer in the country with more 360,000 buildings and 600,000 vehicles. FEMP helps federal agencies improve their efficiency and reduce energy costs by identifying cost-effective solutions, facilitating public-private partnerships and identifying government best practices.
- Since 1975, FEMP has helped agencies cut the energy intensity of their facilities by 49 percent.
- This significantly reduces federal spending and saves taxpayer dollars: Plans outlined in the 2018 FEMP budget are estimated to save $18 billion in federal energy and water costs by 2025.
State Energy Program
SEP helps states maximize the benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy by serving as a resource for technical assistance, technology deployment, strategic partnerships, state energy plans, and financial assistance, among other resources. SEP also helps states develop energy emergency plans in preparation for natural disasters to strengthen resilience and reliability. Its major goals include increasing American energy efficiency, reducing energy costs, improving reliability, developing alternative energy resources, promoting economic growth, and decreasing oil imports.
- For every $1 of investment the federal government provides to the SEP, $4.50 is saved from reduced energy bills.
- Every $50 million in SEP funding results in $585 million in economic development.
Weatherization Assistance Program
WAP offers grant-based assistance to low-income families to improve the energy efficiency of their homes - helping families in need save money on their energy bills while also improving the health and safety of the home. Since its start in 1976, WAP has weatherized over 7.4 million homes; helping millions of families reduce their energy bills.
- A typical year in WAP operations delivers $340 million in energy savings, supports 8,500 jobs, and has a program-wide benefit cost ratio of 4:1
ENERGY STAR is a model for public-private partnerships around the world with more than 16,000 partner companies and organizations. It covers a broad range of sectors – appliances, electronics, residential homes, commercial buildings, manufacturing plants – and is highly cost-effective: ENERGY STAR costs approximately $42 million annually but delivered $34 billion in savings in 2015 alone.
Research and Development:
DOE’s national labs have been among the leading scientific institutions in the world since their founding more than sixty years ago, playing a key role in making the U.S. a global leader in innovation, scientific advancement and cutting-edge technology, including in energy efficiency. Labs such as Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory are not only leading us to the latest efficiency breakthroughs but are helping companies across the country become more productive and competitive.
ARPA-E supports high-impact, potentially transformational energy technologies, including for efficiency, that are too early for private-sector investment. After surviving a rigorous selection process, ARPA-E awardees develop new ways to generate, store, and use energy – yielding big results from a limited amount of funding.
About the Alliance to Save Energy
Founded in 1977, the Alliance to Save Energy is a nonprofit, bipartisan alliance of business, government, environmental and consumer leaders working to expand the economy while using less energy. Our mission is to promote energy productivity worldwide – including through energy efficiency – to achieve a stronger economy, a cleaner environment and greater energy security, affordability and reliability.