In Focus

Election 2020:

Where Candidates for Congress Stand

Connecticut

1ST DISTRICT

Mary Fay

Republican

U.S. House, Connecticut 1

 

1.         WHAT ARE THE BEST WAYS THAT CONGRESS CAN HELP TO REDUCE THE ENERGY AND WATER CONSUMPTION OF BUILDINGS TO HELP MAKE THEM MORE SUSTAINABLE?

 

Geothermal heating/cooling systems, solar panels, energy efficient lights, efficient showers and toilets, and old fashioned ways like shutting off lights and state of the art thermostats

 

2. WHICH OF THESE SUSTAINABLE BUILDING POLICIES DO YOU SUPPORT AND WOULD WORK TO ENACT IF ELECTED?

 

b. Provide rebates to homeowners who invest in energy efficiency improvements,

d. Renew and expand tax incentives for energy efficient buildings,

f. Provide support to states and localities to make buildings more resilient from natural hazards and disasters,

h. Conduct research into the most promising technologies, products and materials that improve occupant health and reduce transmission of contagious disease while saving energy,

i. G. (Invest in the retrofitting of schools, community centers, libraries and other civic buildings to improve occupant safety and reduce energy consumption, especially in underserved communities), but everywhere

 

3.         IF ELECTED, WHAT STEPS WILL YOU TAKE TO ENSURE THAT ALL AMERICANS, REGARDLESS OF SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS, ARE ABLE TO BENEFIT FROM HEALTHY AND SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS?

 

Weave into social programs already available; see above

 

4.         IF ELECTED, WHAT STEPS WILL YOU TAKE TO TRAIN AND PREPARE PEOPLE FOR CLEAN ENERGY JOBS THAT ADVANCE SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS AND BUILDING COMPONENTS?

 

Encourage colleges and universities to develop curriculum; make part of bringing back trades to public schools and community colleges

 

5.         ARE YOU WILLING TO WORK WITH THE BUILDING SECTOR TO MAKE SURE THAT TRANSFORMING BUILDINGS IS PART OF THE POLICY DEBATE IN CONGRESS, INCLUDING JOINING CAUCUSES THAT ADVOCATE FOR SUSTAINABLE BUILDING POLICIES? IF YES, HOW WILL YOU DO THAT?

 

Yes, by showing the building sector why this is important, and make it economically feasible for them.

 

6.         DO YOU HAVE ANY PREVIOUS EXPERIENCES RELATED TO SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS (E.G., SUPPORTING LEGISLATION IN ELECTED OFFICE, MADE ENERGY EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENTS TO A HOME, OFFICE, COMMUNITY-WIDE, ETC.)?

 

Yes, as a town councilor, West Hartford's public building are working to become more energy efficient, starting with solar panels.

2ND DISTRICT

Joe Courtney

Democratic

U.S. House, Connecticut 2

Incumbent

 

1.         WHAT ARE THE BEST WAYS THAT CONGRESS CAN HELP TO REDUCE THE ENERGY AND WATER CONSUMPTION OF BUILDINGS TO HELP MAKE THEM MORE SUSTAINABLE?

 

There are many ways for Congress to provide incentives for public schools, housing, private sector buildings, and others to make sustainability investments and set benchmarks to bring buildings up to code in these areas. For example, HR 2, the Moving Forward Act, would establish a Home Energy Savings Retrofit Rebate Program through the Department of Energy, including rebates for the installation of insulation and air sealing. Section 3321 of the Moving Forward Act also provides a benchmark for energy efficient public buildings, requiring third-party verification of energy efficiency improvements. Additionally Section 33221 of the bill directs the Department of Energy to disseminate information about federal programs and financing to finance energy efficiency and retrofitting projects at schools. I strongly supported the passage of H.R. 2 in the House this year and look forward to working with the Senate to make these changes law.

 

2. WHICH OF THESE SUSTAINABLE BUILDING POLICIES DO YOU SUPPORT AND WOULD WORK TO ENACT IF ELECTED?

 

a. Set benchmarking requirements for commercial buildings and encourage cities and states to adopt performance-based standards for buildings,

b. Provide rebates to homeowners who invest in energy efficiency improvements,

c. Provide incentives to states and localities to adopt the most up-to-date energy building codes,

d. Renew and expand tax incentives for energy efficient buildings,

e. Require federal buildings to meet aggressive energy efficiency and carbon reduction targets,

f. Provide support to states and localities to make buildings more resilient from natural hazards and disasters,

g. Invest in the retrofitting of schools, community centers, libraries and other civic buildings to improve occupant safety and reduce energy consumption, especially in underserved communities,

h. Conduct research into the most promising technologies, products and materials that improve occupant health and reduce transmission of contagious disease while saving energy

 

3.         IF ELECTED, WHAT STEPS WILL YOU TAKE TO ENSURE THAT ALL AMERICANS, REGARDLESS OF SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS, ARE ABLE TO BENEFIT FROM HEALTHY AND SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS?

 

I will continue to support federal programs that incentivize the development of sustainable buildings through rebates and grant funding which prioritize low-income areas. For example, I am a strong supporter of the “Reopen and Rebuild America’s Schools Act of 2020” which was included as part of H.R. 2, and which provides competitive grants to local educational agencies, prioritizing the poverty level of the school and severity of the need to improve school facilities. Additionally, H.R. 2 included the “Housing is Infrastructure Act of 2020”, which provides $100 million for Single Family Housing Repair Loans and Grants under Section 504, helping very low income homeowners remove health and safety hazards from their homes. At least 10% of these funds must be used for green housing investments. The bill also provides $5 billion for the Home Investment Partnership Program (HOME) for construction, purchase, and rehabilitation of affordable housing for low-income people. At least 10% of HOME funds must also be used for green housing investments. Overall, the Housing is Infrastructure portion of H.R. provides well over $100 billion in funds in a multitude of programs targeted towards low-income people and focused on building sustainability.

 

4.         IF ELECTED, WHAT STEPS WILL YOU TAKE TO TRAIN AND PREPARE PEOPLE FOR CLEAN ENERGY JOBS THAT ADVANCE SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS AND BUILDING COMPONENTS?

 

We’re leading the way here in eastern Connecticut when it comes to these types of jobs. Whether it be offshore wind or solar manufacturing and installation, these good-paying and high-skilled careers will lead us into a renewable future. That’s why I’ve continued to support legislation that includes tax credits for wind and solar construction and power generation to bolster the future of these industries. Additionally, I supported House-passage of H.R. 4447, the Expanding Access to Sustainable Energy Act of 2019, which authorizes $500M for workforce training and $5B in rebates for home retrofits to improve energy efficiency construction in local communities. H.R. 4447 would also include strong prevailing wage standards and project labor agreement requirements for any project funded under this effort and would create a new program to train workers for careers in offshore wind. I also voted in support of the National Apprenticeship Act when the Education and Labor Committee recently held a mark-up on this bill to reauthorize our national Registered Apprenticeship program. As a senior member of this committee, I strongly support these updates to the RA system, which will include new funding to bolster successful job training programs in fields like sustainable construction and clean energy.

 

5.         ARE YOU WILLING TO WORK WITH THE BUILDING SECTOR TO MAKE SURE THAT TRANSFORMING BUILDINGS IS PART OF THE POLICY DEBATE IN CONGRESS, INCLUDING JOINING CAUCUSES THAT ADVOCATE FOR SUSTAINABLE BUILDING POLICIES? IF YES, HOW WILL YOU DO THAT?

 

Yes, I firmly believe that transforming buildings to make them more sustainable and resilient is essential and that Congress has a key role to play in this arena. With climate change causing increasing natural disasters, resiliency in planning is more important than ever. Congress must provide federal incentive programs and resources to mitigate the impacts of natural disasters and climate change, and listen to the workers and businesses that implement these updates to ensure that we are meeting our targets.

 

 

6.         DO YOU HAVE ANY PREVIOUS EXPERIENCES RELATED TO SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS (E.G., SUPPORTING LEGISLATION IN ELECTED OFFICE, MADE ENERGY EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENTS TO A HOME, OFFICE, COMMUNITY-WIDE, ETC.)?

 

Absolutely - just this month, I supported House-passage of H.R. 4447, the Expanding Access to Sustainable Energy Act of 2019. This effort strives for bold progress in a number of areas to confront a changing climate, including improving energy efficiency building practices. Among other things, H.R. 4447 would set new energy efficiency standards for buildings and provide funding for schools, homes, municipal buildings, and manufacturing facilities to improve efficiency and implement energy-efficient technologies. Additionally, this effort provides nearly $1.7B for the Weatherization Assistance Program and $17.5B for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program.

BuildingAction does not endorse candidates in primary or general elections. Nothing in this report should be construed as support or opposition to any candidate. Candidates and parties are listed alphabetically. BuildingAction made every effort to report on candidates’ positions accurately; any mistakes or omissions were inadvertent. Please email info@agoragov.com with any suggested corrections.)

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