House passes bipartisan bill to support energy efficiency in schools

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March 5, 2019

On March 5, the House passed the Streamlining Energy Efficiency for Schools Act of 2019 (H.R. 762), a bill that directs the Department of Energy (DOE)’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy to provide a clearinghouse of information on programs and funding geared towards making schools more energy efficient.  The bill, introduced by Representatives Matt Cartwright (D-PA-8) and Peter Welch (D-VT-AL) on January 1, would also include resources to help conceptualize and fund energy efficiency and retrofitting projects.

H.R. 762 has bipartisan support, with cosponsors including Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-1), Chellie Pingree (D-ME-1), and Frederica Wilson (D-FL-24).

Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ-3) and Energy Subcommittee Chairman Bobby Rush (D-IL-1) issued a joint statement praising the bill, stating that increasing energy efficiency in schools benefits both the schools themselves and the nation’s children as “energy efficient schools save money and produce fewer emissions, which will result in a healthier environment.” Representatives Paul Tonko (D-NY-20) and Welch have echoed these points, adding that upgrading and modernizing schools also saves local taxpayers money.

The bill will now move on to the Senate for consideration.

Sources: E&E News; Library of Congress; U.S. House, Committee on Energy and Commerce, Matt Cartwright.