EEBA seeks support for continued federal energy funding

| by Steve Arel

One of the nation’s leading organizations focused on the development of high-performance single- and multi-family homes wants Americans to push congressional leaders to fight for energy-efficient federal funding that threatens to be cut.

The Energy & Environmental Building Alliance (EEBA) has asked those throughout the green and sustainable construction field to sign on to a letter urging Congress to continue funding initiatives and other funding including the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE – sponsor of the DOE Housing Innovation Awards), ENERGY STAR Homes and Home Performance with ENERGY STAR.

EEBA officials ask those interested to sign the letter, found here, by April 21. Doing so serves a way to let elected officials know how the DOE and EPA initiatives help the high-performance industry serve its customers, they said.

The request stems from a move by the Trump Administration to "close out" the popular ENERGY STAR program, a voluntary labeling initiative for manufacturers of efficient appliances that is maintained through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Environment & Energy News reports that a preliminary budget document proposes to slash funding from the program, leaving just $5 million to "close out or transfer" the partnerships involved

The letter to Congress reads in part:

“As organizations and businesses that work to advance residential energy efficiency, we are writing in support of at least level funding during the remainder of Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 and in FY2018 for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s residential programs at the Building Technology Office and Weatherization and Intergovernmental Activities. These programs return benefits and savings to American homeowners, consumers, and businesses many times more than the public’s investment. We urge you to maintain at least the current level of funding and work with the new administration to ensure these programs continue to support increased economic and energy productivity.”

Energy efficiency does more than cut waste and save consumers money on their utility bills, officials said. The industry employs 1.9 million Americans and is the largest sector of the U.S. clean energy economy, with three out of every four clean energy jobs being an energy efficiency job.

Most of those jobs are created by small businesses, EEBA says. Of the 165,000 U.S. companies engaged in energy efficiency, 70 percent of them have 10 or fewer employees. Forty percent of energy efficiency jobs in the U.S. deal with installation of energy efficiency products.

Topics: Associations / Organizations, Certifications, Energy Saving Products, ENERGY STAR

Companies: U.S. Department of Energy

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