Proposed 'Energy Efficiency Reserve Fund' Needed to Support Cost-Effective Investment in Efficiency Programs, RD&D
Washington, D.C., January 18, 2007 – Creation of a Strategic Energy Efficiency and Renewables Reserve, as approved today by the U.S. House of Representatives, could provide critical and significant funding to advance energy efficiency and create a sustainable energy future for our country. Federal investment in energy-efficiency programs and tax incentives, including essential research, development, and deployment yield economic, environmental, and national security payoffs by significantly reducing energy demand in the near, medium, and long-terms.
“We commend the House for creating a robust and long-term stream of funding that will support available and emerging energy efficiency technologies and practices that help to mitigate both high energy prices and the environmental consequences associated with energy production,” said Alliance President Kateri Callahan. She added, “this fund also should be used to research, develop and deploy new energy efficiency technologies that can help us to lower future energy demand which is projected to grow at alarming rates.”
“By creating this mechanism, the House has recognized the important need to reverse a five-year trend in erosion of federal funding for energy-efficiency programs,” Callahan added, noting in particular that funding for energy efficiency programs within the U.S. Department of Energy has dropped by one-third, in real dollars, since fiscal year 2002.
“Energy efficiency programs yield a significant return on taxpayers’ investment,” Callahan pointed out, citing a study by five national labs that estimated that energy-efficiency policies and programs could cost-effectively reduce U.S. demand for electricity and natural gas by 24 percent and 12 percent, respectively, over a 20-year span – about half the projected increase in demand for that period.
“Sustained and robust investment by the federal government will leverage significant private-sector investments, ensuring that we reap the full promise of energy efficiency,” Callahan concluded.