Proposal would reduce government’s utility bill through public-private partnerships
Today, Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) announced bipartisan energy efficiency legislation that would cut the federal government’s energy bill by advancing the use of performance contracts. The federal agencies spend over $6 billion annually on energy.
The Energy Savings Through Public-Private Partnerships Act would save taxpayer dollars without additional appropriations by encouraging federal agencies to enter into energy savings performance contracts and utility energy service contracts. Under these contracts, an energy service company negotiates a contract with a federal agency that specifies the amount of energy savings it will achieve through retrofits and other measures. The company is then paid for its performance out of the savings it achieves rather than through appropriated funds.
The Gardner-Welch legislation:
- increases the federal government’s current performance contracting goal to $1 billion in energy savings contracts over each of the next five years;
- holds the Administration accountable for meeting these goals;
- encourages federal energy managers to implement energy and water conservation measures; and
- requires online transparency of these measures.
Rep. Gardner and Rep. Welch made the following comments after introducing the legislation:
“The federal government is the largest energy consumer in the country. We have a great opportunity to use private sector innovation to reduce our energy consumption and save taxpayer dollars. And we can do it with the support of both Democrats and Republicans.” – Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO)
“This is a common sense solution to rising federal energy costs and energy inefficient federal buildings. It’s also an area where both political parties have found common ground. While we may disagree on sources of energy, we can all agree that using less energy is good for the taxpayer and the environment.” – Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT)
In 2011, President Obama announced a federal agency energy efficiency initiative of $2 billion in performance contracts over two years (2012 and 2013).
The Energy Savings Through Public-Private Partnerships Act is endorsed by a number of groups including the Sierra Club, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Natural Resources Defense Council.