The National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act

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Act XVI of Energize America

Contents

Objective

To create an increasingly energy-aware American culture that values energy efficiency and conservation.

Description

The quickest, easiest and most cost-effective way to reduce both our dependence on fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions is to reduce energy consumption through conservation and improved efficiency. Conservation, which reduces energy-consuming activities, is separate from and highly complementary to, efficiency, which involves using less energy for any given task. While significant efficiencies have been introduced into the market in the past two decades, the federal government has failed to provide the strong leadership necessary to champion energy conservation and efficiency.

The National Energy Efficiency & Conservation Act will: a) educate American consumers on the needs for and benefits of wise energy use, b) provide educational programs for elementary and secondary schools, c) provide incentives for businesses and consumers to optimize energy consumption, and d) create a multi-generational awareness of the need for conservation and efficiency.

The National Energy Efficiency & Conservation Act will also create ‘Energy SMART’ centers in each state which will provide outreach services to consumers on a range energy issues – from simple tasks such as winterizing homes to more complex tasks such as designing buildings to take advantage of natural light and heat. These centers will regroup the efforts currently run in sometimes ad hoc fashion by various local and federal agencies, and use coherent information packages that allow all Americans to make the maximum out of the various incentives under the Energize America program. This act will also create national standards that increase over time, for appliances and consumer electronics so that consumers can get accurate, easy-to-understand information about the true energy costs of their purchase decisions

In addition, The National Energy Efficiency & Conservation Act will require that all new federal buildings, as well as state and local government buildings constructed with federal assistance, be designed and built to a minimum standard using the ‘Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design’ (LEED) standards. Construction using these standards will be eligible to funding under the Community-Based Energy Investment Act. The voluntary ‘Energy Savings Performance Contract’, which allows private contractors to help federal agencies improve the energy efficiency of their facilities, will become mandatory.

Benefits

By 2020 the National Energy Efficiency & Conservation Act will create a culture of increasingly energy-aware Americans that consume energy responsibly, design products and buildings wisely, and that understand the strategic value of energy to the US.

Investment

The National Energy Efficiency & Conservation Act will cost $50 million in incremental program management within the Department of Energy and related agencies through 2020.

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