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Senate Approves Boost In Energy Efficiency Funding

August 2009 - Energy Efficiency

The Senate has approved FY 2010 appropriations levels for U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) programs to advance energy efficiency that represent increases over federal funds provided last year. (S. 1436/H.R. 3183, Fiscal Year 2010 Energy and Water Appropriations.)

"We applaud the Senate for recognizing that the country will benefit from an increased investment in essential energy efficiency programs," says Alliance President Kateri Callahan. "To deploy energy efficiency as a cost-effective solution to our energy and climate imperatives, however, demands investment at least at the level that has been requested by the Obama administration."

For specific efficiency programs, the Senate approved:
*    $202 million for the Building Technologies Program, an increase of $62 million over FY09;
*    $100 million for the Industrial Technologies Program, $10 million more than in FY09;
*    $32 million for the Federal Energy Management Program, an increase of $10 million over FY09;
*    $323 million for the Vehicle Technologies Program, $81 million over FY09 funding; and
*    $200 million for the WAP, $250 million less than in FY09.
"Federal investments in energy efficiency actually save taxpayers money by reducing our nation's overall energy use and thereby our energy costs," Callahan says. "The Alliance will continue to work with Congress through the end of the FY 2010 appropriations cycle and beyond to maintain the upward trend in energy efficiency funding and to ensure adequate funding for both current, successful programs and the initiatives included in the economic recovery law. In particular, the Alliance hopes to see the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) funded at the administration's requested funding level of $250 million, instead of the $200 million that the Senate has provided.

"Strong base funding for all energy efficiency and renewable energy (EERE) programs is necessary to offset the drop in resources that will otherwise occur when the economic recovery funding is exhausted," noted Callahan.

In total, the Senate has approved $2.23 billion for DOE's EERE programs, up from the $1.928 billion appropriated for the current fiscal year. The Obama administration had requested $2.31 billion.


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