State Rep. Sue Errington calls for energy efficiency funding
INDIANAPOLIS – State Rep. Sue Errington (D-Muncie) is one of more than 80 lawmakers from 33 states who have signed a letter urging both Congress and the U.S. Department of Energy to protect energy efficiency programs from potential federal budget cuts.
“Some of the federal spending bills currently under consideration in Washington, D.C., have sought to cut the Department of Energy’s budget by close to 50 percent, with funding for the Building Technologies Office—which administers efficiency standards for appliances—being cut by more than 50 percent,” Errington said. “This kind of cost-cutting—which seems to be offered under the guise of pursuing regulatory ‘reform’—is counter-productive to me, because the energy efficiency movement have proven to be a powerful and cost-effective tool for reducing energy use and protecting our environment.”
News of the potential cuts comes as the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy ranks Indiana 42nd in the country in energy efficiency standards for 2016. The study shows that Indiana ranks poorly in such areas as utility efficiency policies and programs, building energy code stringency and compliance efforts, and state-led energy efficiency initiatives.
“To look at just one area of concern, one of the programs under consideration for cuts involves appliance standards for products ranging from refrigerators to air conditioning to lighting,” Errington noted. “These standards save households across this country about $500 per year and businesses about $23 billion per year on utility bills. Loss of federal support would mean lost savings for many families and businesses.
“These programs have a demonstrated benefit for millions of people across Indiana and around the country,” the lawmaker continued. “At a time when we are increasingly worried about the potential strains on such resources as water and electricity, we need to be strongly supporting the preservation of programs that help protect us. I felt now was a critical time to speak out in support of these energy efficiency policies.”