Washington, D.C.—Congress passed a landmark energy bill as part of the fiscal year 2021 government funding bill. The comprehensive energy package that has now been signed into law included provisions authored by U.S. Senator Susan Collins to support the use of clean, renewable power as well as improve energy efficiency and weatherization programs to save consumers money.
“Advancing next-generation energy storage and supporting research on innovative technologies like deepwater offshore wind power will unlock the vast potential of clean energy. In addition, promoting energy efficiency can easily and effectively help consumers lower their energy consumption,” said Senator Collins. “These bipartisan provisions I authored will protect our environment and decrease energy costs, saving families, businesses, communities, and all levels of government money.”
The compilation of energy-related measures will modernize domestic energy laws to lower energy costs for consumers, diversify our energy portfolio, and facilitate the use of cleaner energy sources. Senator Collins’ provisions include:
· The Streamlining Energy Efficiency for Schools Act, introduced by Senators Collins and Mark Warner (D-VA), will help streamline available federal energy efficiency programs, assist school administrators with navigating available federal financing, and reduce school buildings’ energy costs.
· The Weatherization Enhancement and Local Energy Efficiency Investment and Accountability Act, introduced by Senators Chris Coons (D-DE), Collins, Jack Reed (D-RI), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) will reauthorize the Weatherization Assistance Program through 2024; modernize the definition of weatherization materials; allow re-weatherization of homes 15 years after past weatherization services were completed; and create a small, competitive grant program to support innovative weatherization practices.
· The American Innovation and Manufacturing Act, introduced by Senators John Kennedy (R-LA) and Tom Carper (D-DE) and co-sponsored by Senator Collins, will assist American manufacturers with the transition away from hydrofluorocarbons while preserving and creating jobs.
· The Wind Energy Research and Development Act, introduced by Senators Tina Smith (D-MN) and Collins, will authorize the DOE Office of Wind Energy for five years and direct the Secretary of Energy to award competitive grants to support wind energy research and development.
· The Better Energy Storage Technology (BEST) Act, introduced by Senators Collins and Martin Heinrich (D-NM), would reauthorize and reorient the Department of Energy’s (DOE) energy storage research and development efforts to facilitate breakthroughs on next-generation energy storage. The BEST Act would create well-defined objectives for energy storage projects and align research efforts across federal agencies and national labs. Click HERE to read more.
In March, Senator Collins spoke on the Senate floor to urge her colleagues to support these energy priorities.