WASHINGTON –- (RealEstateRama) — More than 1,000 U.S. companies and organizations signed a letter to Congress and the administration calling for lawmakers to strengthen the ENERGY STAR program that was recently proposed for elimination under the Trump administration’s budget.
“ENERGY STAR is a model for successful collaboration between the public and private sectors,” the letter states. “It enjoys a long track record of success and should be strengthened, not weakened, to ensure it continues providing these important benefits to the public while helping us meet our energy and environmental goals.”
The letter, which was sent Monday and can be found here, was led by the Alliance to Save Energy and signed by leading companies including A.O. Smith, North America’s largest manufacturer of residential and commercial water heaters; Andersen Corporation, the largest door and window manufacturer in North America; CBRE Group, Inc., the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm; Cree, a global manufacturer of LEDs and other products; Ingersoll Rand, parent company of brands such as Trane; Seattle City Light, the city’s publicly owned electric utility; and United Technologies Corp., parent company of Carrier and other brands.
Launched under President George H.W. Bush, ENERGY STAR is among the most successful public-private partnerships in U.S. history, with more than 16,000 partner companies and organizations participating. Run by the EPA, the program certifies a wide variety of products as highly efficient – from appliances to electronics to buildings and manufacturing facilities. It is widely known – with more than 90 percent brand recognition – by the small blue ENERGY STAR logo that appears on products sold across the country.
The program, which costs about $50 million per year to administer, saves consumers more than $34 billion per year in reduced energy costs. It has enjoyed strong bipartisan support for 25 years.
Despite this success, the budget released last month by the White House calls for eliminating ENERGY STAR along with other programs at the EPA.
“Shutting down this program would hurt American businesses, consumers and our overall economy, and we strongly encourage the administration to reconsider the budget proposal,” said Kateri Callahan, president of the Alliance to Save Energy, an energy efficiency advocacy group based in Washington. “This letter demonstrates the enormous business support for a venerable public-private partnership and sends a clear directive to Washington: keep the Energy Star program going and growing.”
Like many of the energy efficiency programs in the federal government, ENERGY STAR delivers enormous benefits to the country. It’s stimulating innovation, creating jobs and saving consumers billions of dollars, all while significantly reducing harmful pollution, including carbon emissions. According to DOE, energy efficiency supports nearly 2.2 million jobs across the country in manufacturing, installation, construction and other sectors.
Comments from the business community:
Cree Vice President of Marketing and Public Affairs Greg Merritt: “ENERGY STAR has played an important role in helping Americans adopt more energy efficient products and technologies, including LED lighting, that have saved them money and saved energy. Consumers are able to rely on the ENERGY STAR brand to give them confidence when buying new technologies, and the ENERGY STAR program has benefited consumers, manufacturers and utilities.”
Scott Tew, Executive Director, Ingersoll Rand Center for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability: “The ENERGY STAR program doesn’t just help our Trane brand differentiate between its energy efficient consumer HVAC products, but it also helps our customers in understanding and marketing the energy performance of their buildings. ENERGY STAR is a proven, credible and 100 percent voluntary program that will grow in consumer confidence if it remains managed by EPA.”
Seattle City Light General Manager and CEO Larry Weis: “When consumers see the blue ENERGY STAR logo, they know they’ll be conserving energy and saving money. This trusted guide is one of the simplest and most effective means to promote energy efficiency to our customers, which benefits us all.”
About the Alliance to Save Energy
Founded in 1977, the Alliance to Save Energy is the leading energy efficiency coalition in the nation – a nonprofit, bipartisan alliance of business, government, environmental and consumer leaders advocating for enhanced energy efficiency across all sectors of the economy. Our mission is to promote energy efficiency worldwide to achieve a healthier economy, a cleaner environment and energy security.