Alliance Welcomes Efficiency Increases in House Spending Bills
WASHINGTON – The Alliance to Save Energy on Thursday applauded the increased energy efficiency investments in House spending bills moving through the chamber this week, calling on Congress to work in a bipartisan fashion to pass provisions for expanding efficiency programs at the Department of Energy and EPA.
“These bills – particularly the emergency spending – would deliver a much needed injection of federal funding into the energy efficiency economy, which has lost nearly half a million jobs as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Ben Evans, the Alliance’s vice president of public affairs. “We know millions of people have lost their jobs and are struggling to pay their energy bills, and provisions in this legislation, such as the increased funding for weatherization assistance, will not only help these households permanently reduce their energy bills but also create thousands of well-paid, blue-collar jobs to do the work. Now is the time for public investment.”
The House Energy and Water Development bill would provide emergency funding of nearly $8 billion for the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, including $3 billion for the Weatherization Assistance Program, $2 billion for energy efficiency grants to local governments, $1 billion for the Vehicles Technology Office, and $500 million for the Advanced Manufacturing Office.
“These are bread-and-butter programs that not only drive efficiency gains across the economy but also put the U.S. in position to lead the world in developing the new technologies that will make us more productive and competitive,” Evans said.
In addition to the Department of Energy funding, the Interior-Environment spending bill would increase the EPA’s ENERGY STAR program budget from $38.4 million to $42 million.
“ENERGY STAR isn’t just a wildly popular consumer awareness program, it serves as the foundation for hundreds of local and state efficiency programs across the country, providing critical efficiency data for everything from utility rebate programs to commercial building benchmarking,” Evans said. “We can and should be doing much more to capitalize on the success of ENERGY STAR, and this funding increase is a step in the right direction.”
“We want to thank House Appropriations leaders for leaning into energy efficiency in these bills, and we urge lawmakers in both parties to look closely at the benefits this spending would deliver and pass these provisions into law.”
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.