Energy Efficiency Bills Clear the House

WASHINGTON — The House passed two bills last week that aim to boost energy efficiency in schools and federal buildings.

Sponsored by Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Pa., the Streamlining Energy Efficiency for Schools Act of 2014 establishes a lead office within the Department of Energy to coordinate government programs that will streamline communications and educate schools, states and local educational agencies on where to access federal funding. That funding can be used to develop energy efficiency, distributed generation and energy retrofitting projects for schools. The office will recognize schools that have successfully implemented energy efficiency projects and are willing to serve as resources for others looking to initiate similar efforts.

The act will establish a single resource website with contact information for technical assistance and support.

“The bill is a strategic and cost-saving measure to help relieve the fiscal pressure felt by schools across the country while increasing our energy security,” Cartwright said in a statement.

The second bill, the House-approved Thermal Insulation Efficiency Improvement Act sponsored by Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., directs the Department of Energy to study potential savings from using thermal insulation for energy and water systems in federal buildings. Kinzinger, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has been promoting his energy policy approach to reduce energy waste through cost-effective measures. Thermal insulation, he advocates, saves up to 500 times more in energy costs over its lifespan.

“I’m proud to see the House investing in research that could significantly save both financial and natural resources all across the country. With the federal government being the single largest consumer of energy in the U.S., doing our best to maximize the potential savings from improved insulation systems is a commonsense step I think everybody can agree on. I hope the Senate takes up this bill and moves quickly to begin this important analysis,” Kinzinger said in a statement.

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