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Policy Center

EFFICIENCY

Energy efficiency is often called the “first fuel”- and for good reason. Reducing the consumption of energy in buildings through efficiency is one of the most effective ways to save costs and help the environment.

Buildings account for about 76% of electricity use in the country. The good news is that there are myriad ways to make these structures more efficient: windows and insulation that reduce the demand for heating and cooling; lighting that consumes less power; appliances and HVAC systems that are designed to save energy, and many more.

 

According to DOE, “by 2030 building energy use could be cut more than 20% using technologies known to be cost effective today and by more than 35% if research goals are met. Much higher savings are technically possible.”

 

Energy efficiency does not mean less comfort or productivity. It means improving a building’s performance throughout its lifespan while providing those who use it a safe, comfortable and attracting environment.

 

The federal government can help make buildings more energy efficient through incentives that help finance energy efficiency improvements, working collaboratively with industry on better appliance standards, and conducting cutting-edge research into efficient buildings designs and technologies.

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POLICY

Velázquez Introduces Bill to Improve Energy Efficiency of Public Buildings

Based on BuildingAction's recommendations, the bill would establish a $4 billion dollar grant program to aid public buildings in upgrading and retrofitting fixtures to reduce energy consumption. 

Policy Ideas

Energy Efficient Public Buildings Act (H.R.1993 — 117th Congress (2021-2022))

Directs the Secretary of Energy to provide grants for energy improvements to certain public buildings, and for other purposes.

E-QUIP Act (H.R.8930)

A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to allow 10-year straight line depreciation for energy efficient qualified improvement property, and for other purposes.

Build America's Libraries Act (S. 127)

A bill to support library infrastructure.

Open Back Better Act of 2021 (H.R.1485)

A bill to provide additional funds for Federal and State facility energy resiliency programs.

Mechanical Insulation Incentives (H.R. 5166 in 116th Congress)

Amends the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide a credit for the labor costs of installing mechanical insulation property. Also included in H.R. 848.

To provide Federal financial assistance to States to implement expanded energy savings performance contracting programs (H.R. 2267)
 

Green Neighborhoods Act of 2020 (116th Congress)

Encourages energy efficiency, conservation, and development of renewable energy sources for housing, and to create sustainable communities.

GREEN Act (H.R. 848)

Amends the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide incentives for renewable energy and energy efficiency, and for other purposes.