Alliance to Save Energy Commends House Committee For Substantially Increasing Funding for Energy-Efficiency Programs | Alliance to Save Energy

Alliance to Save Energy Commends House Committee For Substantially Increasing Funding for Energy-Efficiency Programs

Release Date: Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Washington, D.C., June 25th, 2008 – The Alliance to Save Energy today commended the House Appropriations Committee for adding millions of dollars to Fiscal Year 2009 funding for energy-efficiency programs that are critically needed to curb both our nation’s energy appetite and our carbon emissions.

“The House Appropriations Committee’s robust funding for key energy-efficiency programs is an acknowledgement by our leaders of the key role that energy efficiency will play in our future energy policy, especially the important Commercial Buildings Initiative (CBI) and building energy codes,” said Alliance President Kateri Callahan. “These two initiatives, with the proper funding, will produce tremendous energy savings. I commend Committee members, along with Alliance Honorary Vice-Chairs Reps. Zach Wamp (R-Tenn.) and Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), for all of their hard work toward increasing our nation’s energy efficiency. Congressman Israel was particularly instrumental in helping to secure funding for the CBI.”

Key elements of the bill include:

  • Commercial Buildings Initiative – $20 million for development of the Zero Net Energy Commercial Building Initiative;
  • Department of Energy’s ENERGY STAR program – $10 million;
  • Building Codes – $19.34 million, $11.3 million more than the president’s request.
  • Equipment Standards – $25 million, $5 million more than the president’s request.
  • Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) – $30 million, $8 million more than the president’s request and $11 million above the FY08 level.
  • Weatherization – $250 million, restoring funding to a program that the president’s budget had zeroed out altogether;
  • Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants – $295 million for a program that is primarily implemented at the local level and funds activities ranging from residential and commercial building energy audits to building codes inspection services and energy -efficient traffic lights. The president had not requested any funds for this program.

“This increased funding for energy-efficiency programs demonstrates the importance of investing in clean and efficient technologies that will bring new developments to the marketplace for the American people,” said Wamp, a member of the House Appropriations Energy and Water Subcommittee and co-chair of the House Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus. “Energy efficiency is a key component of an ‘all of the above’ approach to American-made energy. It’s the easiest way to conserve on energy consumption and decrease our dependence on foreign oil.”

Callahan added, “With energy costs continuing to rise, it is important that Congress adequately fund these effective energy-efficiency programs. Promoting energy efficiency is the single most important and immediate thing that the government can do to ease the pressure on Americans’ budgets, reduce carbon emissions, and produce meaningful energy savings.”