A new caucus in the House is striving to make the federal government more energy efficient. Reps. Gardner and Welch head up the recently launched Bipartisan Energy Savings Performance Caucus, which will focus on “pushing for policies that reduce energy costs, cut pollution, and create jobs,” according to a joint statement from the Congressmen. The ten-member caucus will promote the use of Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPCs) by holding agencies accountable for meeting specific energy reduction targets.
In 2011, President Obama authorized up to $2 billion for federal agencies to use on Energy Savings Performance Contracts with the goal of cutting federal energy costs. The contracts pair a private-sector energy savings company with a federal facility; the company purchases and installs the necessary equipment, such as automated controls and updated heating, ventilation, and AC equipment. The facility reimburses the company over time, with a share of the savings resulting from the energy efficiency improvements. Energy and industry officials have said the total opportunities for these contracts could amount to around $20 billion, but few agencies have availed themselves of the funds to date. Gardner and Welch are hopeful that they will be able to build bi-partisan support for the contracts, touting them as a no-cost solution to achieving efficient energy management.
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