Broad Coalition Calls on the U.S. Congress

In letters delivered to members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, 21 organizations – including member groups in the Sustainable Energy Coalition – called for a doubling of federal support for energy efficiency programs over the next five years.

Washington D.C. – April 7, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] They also called for increased federal support for the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) geothermal program and the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) geothermal resource assessment program. The letters, delivered to the chairmen and ranking members of the Interior Subcommittees of the Senate and House Appropriations Committees, offered detailed recommendations for funding levels in the U.S. Department of Energy’s energy efficiency programs as well as the U.S. Department of Interior’s geothermal programs. Stressing that federal “energy efficiency programs are remarkably effective,” the groups noted that “the proposed FY 2005 energy efficiency budget would slightly decrease funding for the third year in a row.” This is a trend that should be reversed, they argued. “During a time of natural gas shortages, energy and homeland security challenges, air quality and climate change problems, and increased demands on the power grid, energy efficiency can provide both immediate action and long-term solutions that will help balance energy supply and demand, stimulate the economy, keep consumer energy bills affordable, and improve air quality. Reducing energy demand through energy efficiency programs is critical to avoiding more electricity blackouts and natural gas and gasoline price spikes.” Accordingly, the groups called for “a doubling of federal support for energy efficiency over the next five years (2005-2009) – specifically, in 2005, a 20% increase in funding for DOE energy efficiency RD&D programs as well as the increase requested in the President’s budget for weatherization.” The 21 signatory organizations follow: Alliance to Save Energy American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy American Public Power Association Austin Energy Bob Lawrence & Associates Cascade Associates City and County of San Francisco Colorado Energy Group Environmental and Energy Study Institute Geothermal Energy Association National Association for State Community Services Programs National Association of State Energy Officials National Environmental Trust New Uses Council Sacramento Municipal Utility District SMOC-Energy Services Solar Energy Industries Association The Stella Group, Ltd. Union of Concerned Scientists United States Combined Heat & Power Association Vermont Energy Investment Corporation

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