Welch, Gardner announce creation of bipartisan energy efficiency caucus

NEWS RELEASE — CONGRESSMAN PETER WELCH
Thursday, December 6, 2012

CONTACT
Scott Coriell – 202.225.4115

WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Representatives Peter Welch (D-VT) Cory Gardner (R-CO) today announced the roll out of a bipartisan caucus that will focus on promoting performance contracting in government buildings across the country and thereby provide guaranteed energy savings to American taxpayers.

“The goal of our caucus is going to be pushing for policies that reduce energy costs, cut pollution, and create jobs,” Gardner and Welch said in a joint statement. “There is nearly 3 billion square feet of building space that is owned and operated by the federal government, and by making government buildings more energy efficient we can save taxpayer dollars and give a boost the construction and energy sectors of our economy.”

The Energy Savings Performance Caucus currently consists of 10 members and was inspired by Gardner and Welch’s collaboration on several amendments to promote the use of Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPCs). In December of 2011, President Obama authorized department and agency heads to use up to $2 billion toward the implementation of ESPCs, which are contracts between the federal government and a private company. The Federal Government, however, has been slow to act on taking advantage of this energy savings.

Gardner and Welch hope the formation of their caucus can move the process along a bit faster by getting executive branch departments to evaluate their own facilities and identify potential savings through ESPCs, Utility Energy Service Contracts (UESCs) and performance contracts that promote energy efficiency at the federal, state, and local level.

What others are saying about the Energy Savings Performance Caucus:

“As advocates of energy saving performance contracting, the Alliance to Save Energy welcomes and commends Reps. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and Peter Welch (D-Vt.) for creating a bipartisan forum for policy makers to call for greater investments in energy efficiency upgrades in government buildings at no cost to taxpayers. We hope that the coordinated efforts of this coalition will elevate the importance of this financing mechanism on Capitol Hill and before the administration and the general public to spur economic growth and create good jobs in the hard-hit construction sector.”- Alliance to Save Energy President Kateri Callahan.

“The Federal Performance Contracting Coalition is very encouraged over the announcement of an Energy Savings Performance Caucus and looks forward to working closely with the Caucus chairs over the next Congress. This bi-partisan Caucus will be invaluable in educating Members of Congress, Federal agencies and the public about the value of performance contracting for energy savings. In addition, this Caucus will help to encourage the Federal government, as well as state and local jurisdictions, to use Energy Savings Performance Contacting to meet their energy reduction goals and acquire new efficient equipment at no upfront cost to the government and with a guarantee of energy savings.” – Federal Performance Contracting Coalition

“The National Association of Manufactures supports policies to enhance private sector investment in public building efficiency improvement projects, and performance contracting is at the very top of that list. Performance contracts, such as ESPCs and UESCs, are extremely valuable tools that make federal buildings more efficient with no upfront taxpayer cost. They should be the very first option taken by agencies, yet they are perpetually underutilized. The NAM is excited that Congress is taking a more active role to increase the use of performance contracting and make federal buildings more efficient.” – Ross Eisenberg, Vice President of Energy and Resources Policy at the National Association of Manufactures

“The formation of the Energy Savings Performance Caucus by Congressmen Cory Gardner and Peter Welch is a commonsense approach to bring energy savings to the federal government using private sector know-how and financing. Moreover, it creates thousands of jobs while making our federal buildings more energy efficient. This is the kind of win-win situation we need to replicate in many policy areas.” – Bill Kovacs, Senior Vice President, Environment, Technology & Regulatory Affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

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