House Infrastructure Bill Advances Energy Efficiency
WASHINGTON – The Alliance to Save Energy released the following statement from Interim President Clay Nesler Wednesday on House passage of the infrastructure bill (H.R. 2), which includes a number of provisions to begin rebuilding the energy efficiency workforce and drive efficiency gains across the economy, particularly in buildings and transportation.
“Passing this bill is a strong step toward rebuilding the energy efficiency economy, which is undergoing severe contraction with more than 430,000 jobs lost in three months as a direct result of COVID-19. It’s not perfect, and there is work to be done to improve some provisions, particularly given the severity of the COVID impacts. But this is the kind of policy we need to kickstart economic activity, and we appreciate House leaders recognizing the important role energy efficiency can play in rebuilding our infrastructure. Investments in weatherization, building retrofits, tax incentives and other programs will go a long way toward putting contractors and manufacturers – who represent 70% of the efficiency workforce – back on the job.”
“We’re particularly pleased that the bill incorporates through amendment the Open Back Better Act from Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.) and Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.), which would spur more than $100 billion in critical public building retrofits through public private partnerships, in part by using savings from energy efficiency improvements to cover costs. Another welcome amendment from Alliance Honorary Board Member Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) would invest in training the next generation of workers in energy efficiency and other energy sectors, with a priority on creating opportunity for minorities, women, veterans and other underrepresented groups.”
“The bill also features significant transportation provisions aligned with the recommendations of the Alliance’s 50x50 Commission on U.S. Transportation Sector Efficiency, such as making strong investments in public transit and electric vehicle infrastructure, and expanding R&D into new technologies such as autonomous vehicles that could affect the efficiency of the sector. We appreciate amendments to elevate equity considerations in EV charging infrastructure programs and to require the federal government to analyze how infrastructure planning and design affects vulnerable communities.”
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.