In a recent letter, SMACNA strongly urged House members to show support for the bipartisan bill H.R. 627, The Streamlining Energy Efficiency for Schools Act of 2017, introduced by Representatives Cartwright and Welch and 49 bipartisan cosponsors. First introduced in the 113thCongress as H.R. 4092, this legislation passed the House unanimously last year as H.R. 756. On June 7, 2017, the full Energy and Commerce Committee reported H.R. 627 to the full house with unanimous support of the Committee.
H. R. 627 would create a one-stop-shop clearinghouse to disseminate information regarding available federal programs and financing mechanisms that may be used to help initiate, develop, and finance energy efficiency, distributed generation, and energy retrofitting projects for schools. The bill would also improve efforts to raise awareness of these federal programs. H.R. 627 does not require additional spending and does not create any new federal programs.
School districts and communities across the United States have long expressed a broad interest in and need for making energy efficiency improvements. Serious problems with school buildings and educational infrastructure are widespread and distributed throughout the nation, with about 14 million students attending schools that need extensive repair. Many of these problems involve the heating, ventilating, air conditioning systems – the very systems responsible for vast amounts of energy consumption and the creation of healthy and comfortable indoor environments. By upgrading these systems, energy efficiency is increased, learning environments are improved, and scarce funds are conserved. H.R. 627 would make it easier for schools to utilize existing federal programs and financing mechanisms, helping to improve the energy efficiency and learning environment of schools.
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