Senators Re-introduce Bill Enhancing Energy Efficiency Programs

THREE U.S. Senators yesterday re-introduced their legislation to strengthen and reauthorize the heart of the federal government’s energy efficiency strategy.

Senators Chris Coons, Susan Collins, Jack Reed, and Jeanne Shaheen re-introduced the Weatherization Assistance Program and to reauthorize the vital work of the State Energy Program. The Weatherization Enhancement and Local Energy Efficiency Investment and Accountability Act would extend both programs for five more years.

“Saving energy is the first step to reducing our energy costs and increasing our nation’s energy security,” Senator Coons said. “The Weatherization Assistance Program and State Energy Program have made it possible for millions of Americans to reap the benefits of a wide range of energy-efficient technologies and practices. Our bill will not only ensure that both landmark programs can continue to help make American homes safer, healthier, and more energy efficient, it also further enhances the Weatherization Assistance Program with a complementary, competitive grant program, and requires that the DOE establish strong, achievable standards for qualifying entities. This will ensure that even more families can benefit. This is common-sense, bipartisan legislation that I hope will once again earn strong support in the Senate.”

“Weatherization provides grants to permanently lower home energy costs for low-income families, seniors, and individuals with disabilities,” Senator Collins said. “This is particularly important for a state like Maine with some of the oldest housing stock in the nation and a high dependence on home heating oil. The State Energy Program is also supporting important state energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.  Programs such as these have a significant return on investment and help meet our national goals of saving energy, lowering costs, and energy independence.”

“Being smarter about how we use energy helps to strengthen our economy, improve our energy security, and protect the environment,” Senator Reed said. “This bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the Weatherization Assistance Program and State Energy Program will help more Rhode Island families and businesses save on their energy bills.  On a national level, investing in a cleaner, more efficient energy system is a cost-effective strategy to help increase our global competitiveness, support job growth, and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.”
“Weatherization projects are among the most effective ways to conserve energy, create jobs, and lower costs for New Hampshire families,” Senator Shaheen said. “The Weatherization Assistance Program has helped low-income families, seniors and individuals with disabilities make lasting and cost-effective energy efficiency improvements to their homes, while the State Energy Program has a history of success working across all sectors of the economy to support cost-effective energy efficiency improvements in New Hampshire and across the country. They’re proven programs, and we ought to act on our bipartisan proposal to reauthorize them immediately.”

“Once again, these Senators recognize the value of continuing these important programs,” National Association of State Energy Officials Executive Director David Terry said. “These programs work cooperatively between the Federal government and the states, and help support private sector efforts to improve our nation’s use of energy.  We look forward to swift action supporting this important authorizing legislation.”

“The Alliance to Save Energy applauds Senators Chris Coons, Susan Collins, Jack Reed and Jeanne Shaheen, for introducing bi-partisan legislation that will increase the affordability and comfort of housing for our most vulnerable American families while also helping communities by creating local jobs and stabilizing low income housing markets,” Alliance to Save Energy President Kateri Callahan said. “The Weatherization Enhancement and Local Energy Efficiency Investment and Accountability Act reauthorizes programs that are proven to leverage non-federal dollars and to return $7 for every $1 of federal funding spent. Congress should pass this important bill post haste.”

Picture: Senator Coons from the United States Senate.

Thursday 12th March 2015

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