A coalition of manufacturers, utilities, trade associations, and advocacy groups are urging Congress to double the funding for the U.S. Energy Star program.
Energy Star, housed mostly within the Environmental Protection Agency, “delivers a remarkable bang for the buck in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for 330 million metric tons of avoided emission reduction each year—roughly 5% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions annually,” according to a letter sent to Congress by the coalition. “Meanwhile, the program saves American consumers and businesses more than $35 billion annually in avoided energy costs.”
The program has seen its budget steadily decline in recent years with overall cuts at EPA. Adjusted for inflation, its budget, today at $35 million, would need to be about $65 million to keep pace with funding levels of a decade ago, the coalition says.
“We know that Congress is looking for innovative, cost-effective, and high-impact approaches for achieving emissions reductions while also boosting economic productivity,” the letter continues. “Energy Star meets all of those criteria through a voluntary, market-based program with a relatively low cost and with enormous untapped potential.”