House Energy and Water Subcommittee Releases Historically High Top-Line Numbers for Dept. of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)

The House Energy and Water Appropriations subcommittee released their FY2020 E&W report yesterday morning. It contains great funding levels for key programs in the Building Technologies Office (BTO), Residential Building Integration (RBI), Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), and State Energy Programs (SEP), as well as strong report language that was very similar to requests made by the Association and other interested parties.

The draft Energy and Water bill released last week included a significant plus up to EERE overall, funding the office at $2.65 billion (up $273M over enacted). Regarding funding levels for important residential energy efficiency programs, the report recommends:

Program

FY18 Enacted

FY19 Enacted

Requested

President’s Budget Req.

House FY2020 E&W

Building Technologies Ofc.

$220.7M

$226M

$268M

$57M

$248M

Residential Bldg. Integration

$23M

$28M

$36M

NA

$30M

WAP

$248M + $3M

$254M + $3M

$270M

$0

$290M

SEP

$55M

$55M

$70M

$0

$70M

Just as important as the proposed programmatic funding levels is the report language included in the report. Building Performance Association - along with E4TheFuture, Building Performance Institute, Inc. (BPI), and Efficiency First (now part of the Association) – made four report language requests pertaining to the need for later stage research and development activities within EERE, activities within BTO, and WAP. Much of the language included in the House report is very similar to the requests we submitted to 30 member offices as well as committee staff. It is clear from the language included in the report that House appropriators heard us loud and clear. The language is strong and will hopefully make it clear to DOE leadership that they are expected to support and advance a comprehensive portfolio of projects that includes later-stage research, development, and deployment activities. As you can see in the numbers above, we have been successful in securing increasing funds for residential energy efficiency programs in the Department of Energy (DOE) despite the Administration’s proposed cuts. The committee is incredibly committed to robust funding for WAP and SEP, both of which saw significant plus ups. The committee also listened to requests for increased funds for RBI.

The full House Appropriations Committee will mark up the bill Tuesday, May 21, 2019. Timing on the Senate side is less clear, as appropriators in that chamber have not set overall spending caps for the different appropriations bills. We are unlikely to see a draft bill in the Senate until after the Memorial Day recess but will keep you apprised of developments moving forward.

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