Congressman Jim Matheson has introduced a bipartisan bill promoting an energy savings program by federal agencies that increases efficiency at no cost to taxpayers. Matheson and New Hampshire Congressman Charlie Bass have written H.R. 4017 --"The Smart Energy Act".
"Energy efficiency remains our best short-term answer to easing this country's oil addiction and the carbon pollution threat," said Matheson. "On-the-shelf, relatively inexpensive technology already exists to provide meaningful energy savings in federal buildings across multiple federal agencies."
Matheson's legislation requires federal agencies to use Energy Savings
Performance contracts (ESPC), using private sector financing. The energy service company would perform a comprehensive energy audit for the federal facility and identify improvements. By making those improvements, the company guarantees that they will generate sufficient energy cost savings to pay for the upgrades over the term of the contract. Those upgrades could include using more energy efficient computers, advanced power-metering in federal buildings and consolidated data centers. It also requires federal agencies to participate in electric utilities' demand response programs that are designed to educate customers about switching energy use, when possible, to low peak demand times to save money.
Matheson said the bill also offers a loan program to assist with energy efficiency retrofitting of older buildings, such as municipal buildings, schools and hospitals.
"Energy experts in both the public and private sector agree -- wiser energy use holds great advantages for our economy, our national security and our environment," said Matheson.