House Passes Energy Efficiency Bills

July 7, 2014 By Karen Henry

capitol-hill-energy-manageThe US House of Representatives recently passed two bills to increase energy and cost savings for federal agencies and schools and support the production and use of hydropower.

H.R. 4801, the Thermal Insulation Efficiency Improvement Act, will help identify opportunities for federal agencies to use energy and water more efficiently, according to an article in Facilities Management News.

Specifically, H.R. 4801 directs the Secretary of the US Department of Energy (DOE) to submit a report within one year on the impact of thermal insulation on both energy and water use systems for potable hot and chilled water in federal buildings and on the return on investment of installing the insulation. According to the bill, the report must include an analysis based on the cost of municipal or regional water for delivered water and the avoided cost of new water and a summary of energy and water savings, including short-term and long-term projections of such savings.

H.R. 4092, the Streamlining Energy Efficiency for Schools Act of 2014, would help US schools reduce energy use and save money. To help schools achieve this goal, the bill directs the Energy Secretary to do the following:

  1. Review existing programs and financing mechanisms available in or from federal agencies with jurisdiction over energy financing and facilitation.
  2. Establish an education and outreach effort to promote available federal opportunities and assistance for energy efficiency projects.
  3. Provide technical assistance for states, local educational agencies, and schools to help develop and finance energy efficiency projects that meet specified requirements.
  4. Develop and maintain a single online resource with contact information for relevant technical assistance and support staff to help states, local educational agencies and schools to access and use federal opportunities and assistance to develop energy efficiency projects.
  5. Establish a process to recognize schools that have successfully implemented energy efficiency projects and are willing to serve as resources for other local educational agencies and schools.

Both bills passed the House on June 23 and have moved on to the Senate.

Photo of US Capitol via Shutterstock.

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