Alliance Urges House to Adopt Bipartisan Amendment Restoring Funds for Key Energy Efficiency Programs
Washington, D.C., July 11, 2011 – The Alliance to Save Energy today urged the House of Representatives to adopt a bipartisan, fully offset amendment to restore funding for three key energy-efficiency programs that help states and low-income constituents and save energy in buildings.
“This is no time to slash support for cost-effective energy-efficiency programs,” said Alliance President Kateri Callahan. “These programs have long track records of saving money for consumers, businesses and governments alike.”
Supporting Energy Reductions
The amendment would restore cuts made in committee, bringing funding for these three key programs back up to Fiscal Year 2011 levels:
- State Energy Program (SEP) – add $25 million for a total of $50 million;
- Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) – add $141 million for a total of $174 million;
- Building Technologies Program – add $62 million for a total of $212 million.
The amendment is sponsored by Rep. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y), an Alliance honorary vice-chair, and Rep. Charles Bass (R-N.H.) According to their “Dear Colleague” letter, the 30-year-old WAP, the nation’s largest residential energy conservation program, reduces energy use for low-income families by an average of 35% to save each family at least $437 a year. The program also creates jobs, invests in local businesses and advances technology.
The Tonko-Bass letter noted that an Oak Ridge National Laboratory study on the SEP found that every federal dollar invested yields more than $7 in energy savings and leverages almost $11 in non-federal funds.
And the Buildings Technology Program funds research and development to incorporate new technologies into building construction. Buildings are responsible for the single-highest energy use in the United States – 40% of all energy.