House Passes Cartwright School Energy Efficiency Legislation
Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Matt Cartwright’s Streamlining Energy Efficiency for Schools Act of 2015 (H.R. 756) unanimously passed the U.S. House of Representatives. First introduced in February 2014, the bill also unanimously passed the House during the 113th Congress.
The bipartisan legislation, re-introduced by Cartwright in January 2015, would encourage school administrators to make cost-saving energy efficiency upgrades by establishing a clearinghouse for energy efficiency resources through the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. The clearinghouse will publish information on federal programs and financing tools that may be used to perform energy generation, energy efficiency, and energy retrofitting projects on schools.
“I am pleased that the House is prioritizing energy efficiency by once again passing this bill, and I’m working with my colleagues in the Senate and encouraging them to act quickly on passage,” said U.S. Rep. Cartwright. “This bill will ensure that schools can more easily take advantage of energy-efficiency programs, encouraging strategic and cost-saving investments to relieve the fiscal pressure felt by schools across the country--all while bringing us closer to energy security.”
According to the Department of Energy (DOE), the nation’s 17,450 K-12 school districts spend more than $6 billion annually on energy, more than is spent on computers and textbooks combined. Currently, there are numerous federal initiatives available to schools to help them become more energy efficient. However, these programs are spread across the federal government, making it challenging for schools to know where to look and how to take full advantage.
An estimated 14 million American children attend deteriorating public schools. Many of these schools’ problems involve the heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems. According to a Department of Education survey, 43 percent of schools indicated that the poor condition of their facilities interferes with the delivery of instruction. By upgrading these systems, energy efficiency is increased, learning environments are improved, and scarce funds are conserved.