Shaheen Lauds Department of Energy Announcement to Make $250M Available for Energy Efficiency Upgrades for Families & Businesses

November 15, 2022

Announcement comes on the one-year anniversary of President Biden signing the bipartisan infrastructure bill into law, of which Shaheen was a key negotiator 

Shaheen has historically led on energy efficiency policies in the U.S. Senate, including landmark provisions that she included in the bipartisan infrastructure bill with Senator Rob Portman (R-OH). 

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) lauded the Biden administration’s announcement today that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will make available $250 million for families and businesses through the Energy Efficiency Revolving Loan Fund Capitalization Grant Program, which was established the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). Shaheen was a lead negotiator of the IIJA.

“Investing in energy efficiency policies is low-hanging fruit when it comes to addressing our nation’s energy needs and helping families and businesses keep bills down – it’s a win-win for everyone,” said Shaheen. “That’s why I’ve long prioritized policies that pursue energy efficiency solutions and it’s also why I’ve had bipartisan success to see these efforts become law, including the great opportunities announced today thanks to the bipartisan infrastructure law. There are a number of federal programs that Granite Staters can participate in that will save them money today, both through the bipartisan infrastructure law as well as the Inflation Reduction Act, which are especially important as the coldest months settle in. I encourage the State of New Hampshire to participate in this latest opportunity through the Department of Energy so our families and businesses have access to additional tools that will help them cut costs.”

“After getting the shock of energy bill increases in just the last month, Granite Staters looking for relief will find it in the latest funding for energy saving upgrades and audits provided by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill,” said Cathy Corkery, Chapter Director and Senior Organizing Representative of the Sierra Club. “This is not a bandaid until next winter, these programs not only lower your energy bills this year, they lower costs in the future and can improve the value of homes and business well into the future. The flexibility of the federal funding allows the state to provide technical assistance to the most in need, low-income and fixed income households and small businesses, as they see fit. Plus, it will provide targeted funding for under-resourced communities that are too often the last on everyone's list. This is the best news from Senator Shaheen's office!”

“We applaud the Biden administration and Senator Shaheen for making energy efficiency investments a priority,” said Jim O’Brien, Director of External Affairs for The Nature Conservancy in New Hampshire. “This funding is essential as New Hampshire residents and businesses brace for a winter of high electric and home heating costs. We know that energy efficiency investments produce the broadest range of benefits for New Hampshire: consumers are more comfortable and save money on their energy bills, we reduce our need for expensive new energy investments, employers create local jobs, and harmful carbon pollution is reduced.  We look forward to working with the New Hampshire Department of Energy to get this and other federal funds deployed in New Hampshire as quickly as possible.”

A revolving loan fund is an “evergreen” source of funding for energy efficiency and clean energy projects, as money received from repaid loans is continuously recycled as loans for additional projects. With funding from this program, states can establish or enhance robust revolving loan fund programs that provide energy efficiency loans to commercial and residential building owners and leverage capital from private, philanthropic and other sources to amplify the impact of federal funding. States can also use up to one-quarter of the funding for grants and technical assistance to low-income homeowners and small businesses. The DOE will work with states to ensure that revolving loan fund programs prioritize disadvantaged communities that have faced underinvestment in energy efficiency deployment.

Shaheen also successfully included major energy efficiency components from her bipartisan bill with Senator Portman (R-OH) – the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (ESIC)– in the final legislation that became law. By 2040,?an?estimate?from American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE), determined the legislation?would save consumers $5 billion in energy costs and reduce carbon emissions equivalent to taking 116 million cars off the road. In addition to the ESIC, the?bipartisan infrastructure law also includes?the?Smart Manufacturing Leadership Act,?legislation?introduced by?Shaheen and Portman?that?will help manufacturers improve energy efficiency, create jobs and secure a more competitive position in the marketplace. The bipartisan infrastructure law?also includes Shaheen?and Portman’s?Promoting American Energy Jobs Act?as well as Shaheen’s?Heat Efficiency through Applied Technology (HEAT) Act?.?Together, these bills will promote innovation, energy efficiency and economic competitiveness of American manufacturers and support the energy workforce. Shaheen?added these provisions?when the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources voted to advance the?Energy Infrastructure Act?last year.

As a senior appropriator, Senator Shaheen has consistently secured federal funding to assist low-income households in paying their energy bills and staying safe during the winter. Last month, Shaheen joined a bipartisan coalition of senators in a?push urging for the swift release of Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funds. Shaheen also?champions the Weatherization Assistance Program?and other energy efficiency measures to help Granite Staters keep their energy usage down and lower their monthly bills. Shaheen recently hosted a roundtable discussion at Southern NH Services’ Sundance Village to highlight federal funds available to assist Granite Staters with home heating costs this winter. She also?released a federal resource page?to help New Hampshire families navigate the programs and tax incentives available to them to help keep costs down.?

 

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