Expanding energy efficiency programs can help states create good jobs, reduce pollution, and help businesses and residents save money on energy costs.
The signatories called on states to increase investment in critical efficiency and demand management programs, including efforts to improve building ventilation to improve public health – a call guided by both the thread of the climate crisis and the experience of the ongoing pandemic. The letter emphasized that between the Covid-19 relief and infrastructure programs passed by Congress in 2021, state and local governments will have access to billions of dollars in federal funds to develop these initiatives, which will create good jobs, reduce pollution and lower energy costs for businesses and residents.
“Efficiency investments are smart investments that support local family jobs, save customers money, mitigate energy cost volatility, and help retrofit buildings and facilities to prevent future crises,” wrote the petitioners.
The letter was signed by 59 organizations, including the Arizona Technology Council, Eaton Corporation, JLL, Johnson Controls, Siemens and Sierra Nevada. It should be sent to authorities in Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon , Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington.
“With our buildings anchoring cities across the United States, JLL believes the real estate industry is uniquely positioned to shape a better future. We have prioritized energy efficiency at all of our sites because it saves money on utilities, upgrades our properties with cutting-edge technology, keeps our guests and communities healthy, and we helps achieve our ambitious sustainability goals,” said Cynthia Curtis, senior vice president and chief sustainability officer for the company. , Americas at JLL. “We urge governors and policy makers to take advantage of the significant federal funding now available to expand their energy efficiency programs and create a healthier, more resilient built environment for all.”
Ryan Dalton, director of state policy and external affairs, SiemensUSA, added that worldwide, buildings account for about 40% of all energy consumption, a figure that is expected to rise.
“We’ve seen the benefits of more efficient buildings, and those benefits are even clearer now in a time of energy scarcity and volatile energy markets,” Dalton said. “States across the United States have an opportunity to help residents and businesses stabilize and lower their utility costs by reducing energy demands and energy waste in the buildings where they live and work. To reduce energy costs, preserve resources, and reduce the pollution that will cause future climate and health crises, states must increase investment in energy efficiency programs that also have significant public health benefits.
Many of the investments advocated in the letter could be made quickly using funds that have already been distributed and programs that already exist. States will also have the ability to apply for various grants funded by last year’s Infrastructure Investment and Employment Act (IIJA), according to the letter.
Specifically, the companies called on states to dedicate or seek funds to:
Invest in ventilation systems and buildings, including comprehensive retrofits, to reduce energy waste, improve indoor air quality and improve public health outcomes;
Expand demand-side energy management programs that serve both the residential and commercial sectors, reducing pollution from fossil fuels;
Expand energy efficiency programs and services for low-income people, bringing building improvements and efficiency measures to populations who are less likely to use these programs, such as tenants and residents of multi-family dwellings;
Improve the efficiency and ventilation of critical public facilities, including schools, hospitals and airports that are often used in emergencies; and
Develop skills training programs to increase the energy efficiency workforce while helping retrofit residential homes.
The letter was organized by Ceres, Building Performance Association, California Energy Efficiency and Demand Management Council, Energy Efficiency Business Coalition of Colorado, Energy Efficiency Alliance of New Jersey, Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance, National Association of Energy Service Companies, and the Virginia Energy Efficiency Council.
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