SMACNA Urges House, Senate to Support "The Energy Savings Through Public-Private Partnerships" - H.R. 3079 / S. 1706
In recent letters to both chambers of Congress, the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors' National Association expressed its support for H.R. 3079 / S. 1706, “The Energy Savings Through Public-Private Partnerships Act." H.R. 3079, introduced by Representative Peter Welch (D-VT) and cosponsored by Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) in the House, has passed from the House Energy and Commerce Committee and awaits favorable floor vote. S. 1706, sponsored by Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) and cosponsored by Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) and Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) in the Senate. has been passed from the Energy and Natural Resources Committee and awaits Senate approval.
SMACNA appreciates the outstanding leadership given national energy efficiency policy over many years by Representatives Welch and Kinzinger and Senators Gardner, Coons and Shaheen. Further, our decades of experience on the frontlines of energy efficient construction only reinforces our enthusiasm for performance contracts as financial leverage to boost the number and types of performance contracts. H.R. 3079 / S. 1706 would help expand both energy efficiency and jobs if Congress moves to expand the Use of Energy and Utility Saving Performance Contracts (ESPC)s/(USPC)s inside and outside of government.
Under the performance contract financing mechanism, private sector service companies finance and install new energy and water efficient equipment at minimal or no upfront cost to the Federal government. Federal agencies repay this investment over time with funds saved on utility costs. The private sector contractors measure, verify and guarantee these energy savings. Current law requires federal facility energy managers to evaluate and identify energy and water efficiency measures for federal facilities, but agencies are not required to implement the measures. The bill requires agencies to implement the measures if they are cost-effective.
Under H.R. 3079 / S. 1706, the Department of Energy must report to the President and Congress on each agency's performance contracts, including their investment value and their energy savings. The energy conservation measures that may be contained in performance contracts are expanded by including those involving energy consuming devices and required support structures. Agencies may not limit recognition of operation and maintenance savings associated with energy systems that were modernized or replaced with energy conservation measures and water conservation measures (e.g., lower energy and water bills due to energy efficiency and conservation measures). SMACNA and its allies in the efficiency retrofit sector have long supported performance contracting at the state and federal levels and urges Congress to enact support for such contracting into law.