Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic
The Alliance is working with our Associates and fellow advocates in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that lawmakers understand the severe damage playing out in the energy efficiency sector and that they act accordingly to put policies in place that protect jobs and pave the way for future rebuilding. A recent report from E2, E4TheFuture, and others found that more than 413,000 energy efficiency workers have lost their jobs since the shutdown began in March. These are mostly construction workers at small businesses who can’t get into homes or buildings to work due to safety concerns. The slowdown ultimately threatens the entire efficiency sector, including manufacturing of insulation, windows and other components, engineering, professional services, etc.
While we will support a number of policy solutions, including natural prospects such as expanding weatherization programs and federal financing opportunities, we are using our feedback from our Associates, as well as our 2020 strategy, to develop a package of stimulus opportunities focused on four priorities: federal grant program for energy efficiency retrofits, as well as funding retrofits in public buildings, transportation and infrastructure investments, and expansion of energy efficiency tax credits.
We will continue to update this page with the latest information and efforts, so please continue to check back.
- Read Alliance Interim President Clay Nesler’s blog on how efficiency can help as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic
- EE Global Forum 2020 is canceled, but the Alliance is working on a series of virtual sessions intended to tackle the Efficiency Emergency and maintain momentum until we reconvene in 2021. Check out eeglobalforum.org for the latest updates on the new sessions.
- Energy Jobs Report Shows Progress in Efficiency Sector, but COVID-19 Puts Many in Jeopardy
Small Business Energy Efficiency Grant Program
We are working on a proposal to create a federal grant program that would support the small businesses being hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic by providing a quick injection of federal matching funding to kick-start energy efficiency retrofits through existing utility demand side management programs.
- Find out more about the Small Business Energy Efficiency Grant Program and additional resources
- Read Alliance Board Member and President of Lime Energy Adam Procell's blog: Driving Energy Efficiency through Small Business Investment
Mission Critical Facility Renewal Program
We are also developing a proposal for funding retrofits in public buildings that would allow the rapid transformation of unoccupied spaces to support public health and other emergencies while improving facility efficiency and resilience.
Find out more about the Mission Critical Facility Renewal Program and additional resources
Read Alliance Interim President Clay Nesler's blog: Economic Stimulus – Let’s Do Building Retrofits RIGHT
Transportation and Infrastructure Investments
We are working with our 50x50 Transportation Action Network to identify opportunities for transportation infrastructure investments that will create jobs and deliver a more efficient and sustainable transportation sector. For this work, we are drawing on priorities developed by the 50x50 Commission on Transportation Sector Efficiency from 2017-2019, including investments in electrification infrastructure, port and airport modernization, public transit, and emerging technologies and trends.
- Find out more about the Transportation and Infrastructure Proposal
- Read the Alliance's Rebecca Price and Alexander Ratner's blog on Restoring our Economy Through Energy Efficiency Investments in Transportation
- Find out how public transit investment can help stimulate the economy in Rebecca Price's blog
Expansion of Energy Efficiency Tax Credits
As was done under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, we are working to expand and extend energy efficiency tax incentives for homes and buildings. This would include, for example, increasing the incentive cap for the Sec. 25C tax incentive for homeowner efficiency improvements to stimulate homeowner investments in the future, and expanding the Sec. 179D buildings incentive to drive deeper retrofits.
- Find out more in the Tax Priorities for Rebuilding the Energy Efficiency Economy and Workforce Proposal
- Read our blog on how Smart Tax Incentives Can Kickstart the Efficiency Economy
- CARES Act legislative text
- Small Business Administration's Guide to the CARES Act
- Bracewell Policy Resolution Group: How Federal Agencies are Responding to the Stimulus Bill
What We're Reading
Energy, environment issues to resurface this summer, E&E News, June 1
Pandemic response debate holds up spending legislation, E&E News, May 27
INSIGHT: Virus Stimulus Should Prioritize Energy Efficient Infrastructure, Bloomberg Law, May 13
COVID-19 Will Create Energy Efficiency Opportunities, T&D World, April 30
Emissions Declines Will Set Records This Year. But It’s Not Good News., New York Times, April 30
McConnell dismisses infrastructure talk for next stimulus, E&E News, April 29
Stimulus deal near as Hill prepares for extended disruption, E&E News, April 20
Efficiency sector gets creative to stem COVID-19 job losses, maintain energy savings, Utility Dive, April 13
Energy Efficiency Industry Seeks Aid as House Panel Seeks Ideas, Bloomberg Environment, April 10
'Horrible.' Coronavirus unravels energy efficiency industry, E&E News, April 7
Energy efficiency efforts are shutting down due to COVID-19, threatening jobs and savings, Utility Dive, April 6
- How an energy jobs coalition can help the US economy bounce back, The Hill op-ed by Ernest Moniz, April 3
- Pelosi Pares Goals for New Stimulus Bill With Eye on Faster Help, Bloomberg News, April 3
- COVID-19 crisis highlights the need for energy security, says IEA, ESI Africa, March 31
- Trump says another coronavirus stimulus should include up to $2 trillion for infrastructure, USA Today, March 31
- Democrats eye major infrastructure component in next coronavirus package, The Hill, March 30
- Nancy Pelosi Is Already Talking About the Next Stimulus Bill for Coronavirus Relief, New York Times, March 30
- Obama's stimulus guru sees post-pandemic Rx for clean energy, E&E News, March 27
- US Coronavirus Response: 3 Principles for Sustainable Economic Stimulus, World Resources Institute, March 20
- Put clean energy at the heart of stimulus plans to counter the coronavirus crisis, IEA, March 14
- Responding to Coronavirus: Low-carbon Investments Can Help Economies Recover, World Resources Institute, March 12
Read about the global implications of the pandemic via the IEA's COVID-19 Hub.