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Public Statements

Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mrs. BIGGERT. I rise to engage in a brief colloquy with my colleague from New Jersey (Mr. Frelinghuysen) about the issue of energy efficiency in buildings as it relates to funding for the Energy Information Administration.

First let me say that I very much appreciate the committee's efforts with respect to the EIA and the overall bill. The EIA is an essential resource for the commercial building sector as they seek to improve energy efficiency and reduce energy costs.

I want to clarify the intent of the committee direction for the EIA funding of the Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey, also known as CBECS. I recognize that the committee recommended an appropriation of $105 million for EIA in fiscal year 2012, roughly $9 million above fiscal year 2011 levels.

Unfortunately, the committee also included limiting language that I'm concerned about. Does the gentleman from New Jersey consider CBECS a priority for EIA?

Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Will the gentlewoman yield?

Mrs. BIGGERT. I yield to the gentleman from New Jersey.

Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. I thank the gentlewoman from Illinois and agree that the Consumer Building Energy Consumption Survey is an important resource for the building sector. The bill provides an increase of $10 million for the Energy Information Administration; and if funding is available, I expect that an update of the consumer building survey would be funded.

Mrs. BIGGERT. Reclaiming my time, I thank the chairman. As you know, I serve as cochair of the High Performance Building Caucus with Representative Russ Carnahan of Missouri. Many members of the High Performance Building Coalition have come to us to express their concern about an updated CBECS since the latest data is nearly a decade old.

Substantial investments in the commercial building sector have been made since the last CBECS was published in 2003. The updated data is not only valuable to building owners looking to make improvements, but also necessary to inform the Annual Energy Outlook that we, in Congress, rely on.

Finally, I would like to point out that the building renovation sector relies overwhelmingly on American-made goods for its work. In fact, over 90 percent of the manufacturing of furnaces, insulation and ductwork is here in the United States. So by making this data available to commercial buildings through CBECS, we are directly supporting American jobs.

I yield back the balance of my time.


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