Posted on February 15, 2011

Obama Budget Boosts Energy-Efficiency Efforts

Energy efficiency would get a significant boost from President Obama’s proposed federal budget for FY 2012, the Alliance to Save Energy (ASE) said this week. That serves as recognition that energy efficiency is a vital component of the nation’s economic recovery as well as long-term national security.

Among the proposals in the president’s budget is the Better Buildings Initiative (BBI). The program would help drive private-sector investment in making commercial buildings more energy efficient by providing a series of incentives to upgrade a wide variety of buildings, ranging from offices and stores to schools and other municipal buildings. It’s projected that building owners and operators could save roughly $40 billion each year in energy costs for the next decade through this program.

Energy efficiency would get a significant boost from President Obama’s proposed federal budget for FY 2012, the Alliance to Save Energy (ASE) said this week. That serves as recognition that energy efficiency is a vital component of the nation’s economic recovery as well as long-term national security.

Among the proposals in the president’s budget is the Better Buildings Initiative (BBI). The program would help drive private-sector investment in making commercial buildings more energy efficient by providing a series of incentives to upgrade a wide variety of buildings, ranging from offices and stores to schools and other municipal buildings. It’s projected that building owners and operators could save roughly $40 billion each year in energy costs for the next decade through this program.

Another area slated for increase is the Energy Star program, which encourages the manufacturing of more efficient appliances and helps consumers easily factor in the cost of energy use when they make buying decisions. The Energy Star program would be boosted by $3 million to $56 million, with the additional funds helping increase compliance and verification of Energy Star products. PG&E has long supported such efforts.

The ASE, co-chaired by PG&E Corporation Chairman Peter Darbee, called the proposed increase in clean-energy funding “all the more notable” in a budget that is geared toward spending control and deficit reduction. The organization noted that diligent work is needed to ensure that this aspect of the budget survives any Congressional challenges, so that the nation’s consumers and businesses can continue to benefit from programs that are already delivering energy and dollar savings today.

You can read more about the proposal in the White House fact sheet on Clean Energy, or get additional information at the ASE’s blog on the president’s budget.

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