Cartwright Legislation Passes Committee Vote; Possible House Floor Vote is Next Step
Washington, D.C. – Today, legislation introduced by U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright passed its first test. H.R. 4092, the Streamlining Energy Efficiency for Schools Act of 2014, was introduced by Cartwright on February 26 this year, gained 39 co-sponsors, and was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. This morning, that Committee passed the bill unanimously.
“This common-sense legislation will ensure that schools can more easily take advantage of energy-efficiency programs,” said Cartwright. “The bill is a strategic and cost-saving investment to relieve the fiscal pressure felt by schools across the country while bringing us closer to energy security.”
The legislation would establish a clearinghouse through the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. The clearing house will publish information on federal programs and financing tools that may be used to develop energy efficiency, distributed generation, and energy retrofitting projects for schools.
Additionally, the legislation directs the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy to coordinate with federal agencies and develop and coordinate an outreach effort to streamline communications and promote available federal programs.
“According to Energy Star, school districts spend billions on their energy bills each year, approximately $6 billion, second only to personnel costs,” said Cartwright. “Yet, an estimated 14 million American children attend deteriorating public schools. 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. Energy expenses are one of the few costs that can be reduced while at the same time improving classroom instruction.”
Companion legislation to H.R. 4092 is also advancing in the Senate. Introduced in the Senate as the Streamlining Energy Efficiency for Schools Act of 2013 (S. 1084) by Senators Mark Udall (CO) and Susan Collins (ME), the bill is now part of the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2014, introduced by Senators Jeanne Shaheen (NH) and Rob Portman (OH), which is scheduled to come to the Senate floor next week.