Cantwell Touts Senate Energy Bill’s Efficiency and Smart Buildings Provisions in Speech at National Press Club
Energy Efficiency Is a Winning Strategy to Keep Our Country More Competitive
Washington, D.C. – (RealEstateRama) — In a speech at the National Press Club, Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) called for the development of policies that promote and accelerate energy efficiency and smart buildings, in light of new research demonstrating the energy savings that come from investing in energy efficiency technologies.
The new research – unveiled by Sen. Cantwell – is a first-of-its-kind study by the Northwest Energy Efficiency Council, which quantifies how money saved from energy efficiency is reinvested in the economy through lowering business costs, increasing competitiveness and creating jobs.
“Energy efficiency, in and of itself – the report said – is a driver of productivity,” said Sen. Cantwell.
With almost half a billion dollars invested in energy efficiency in the state of Washington each year, the study found that $1 billion is saved in energy costs. That same half a billion dollar investment also contributes $91 million gross regional product; $76 million in wage benefits for Washington state workers; $8 million in exports and more than 1,300 jobs – in addition to the 7,500 jobs the energy efficiency industry already directly creates in the state.
“We, in the Northwest, have a couple different demonstrations of this. We have the Bullitt Center, which is one of the most highly efficient, commercial buildings in the country. We have one of the most energy efficient hospitals in Issaquah. And we have entrepreneurs investing in smart technologies and expanding efficiency savings beyond smart buildings to smart grids and smart cities,” said Sen. Cantwell.
In her speech at the Energy Efficiency Forum, Sen. Cantwell also called for the development of national policies to promote and accelerate energy efficiency and smart buildings, such as provisions in the Energy Policy and Modernization Act of 2016. These programs would help businesses and consumers save energy and money.
Sen. Cantwell’s Energy and Policy Modernization Act of 2016 recently passed the Senate by a bipartisan vote. The bill includes key provisions, such as launching a smart buildings initiative that empower public/private partnerships to demonstrate and evaluate the costs and benefits of new energy-saving technologies. These would save consumers money, create more than 100,000 jobs and reduce carbon emissions.
“The heart of any energy bill for us in the Senate – or at least for the side of the aisle I represent – has to be a very progressive, a very active energy efficiency title. And that is what we are going to fight for,” said Sen. Cantwell.
“The House of Representatives’ energy efficiency title represents a backward motion on existing law, erasing proposals that have been part of law for years,” said Sen. Cantwell. “Energy efficiency provisions need to be the cornerstone of any bill that goes to the president’s desk.”
The 27th annual Energy Efficiency Forum is co-sponsored by the U.S. Energy Association and Johnson Controls, and highlights the pioneering energy efficiency policies, technologies and practices that will be a key driver of energy system innovation in the future.