Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO), Chris Coons (D-DE) and Representatives Peter Welch (D-VT) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) introduced the Energy Savings Through Public-Private Partnerships Act of 2019, legislation that encourages the use of Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPCs) and Utility Energy Savings Contracts (UESCs) in federal buildings.
Mandatory federal audits already outline energy savings projects for federal facilities aimed at reducing energy consumption and saving tax dollars; however, federal agencies are currently not required to implement these changes. This legislation changes that by requiring that the projects be done, and that at least half of the projects be paid for by ESPCs or UESCs. It also expands the types of savings that can be used to repay the contracts to keep pace with changes in technology and energy markets.
ESPCs and UESCs are innovative public-private partnerships in which private companies use their own money and resources to make energy efficiency upgrades to federal buildings. In exchange for making energy efficient upgrades, those private companies receive a portion of the money saved as a result of the increased efficiency in federal buildings. ESPCs and UESCs create private sector jobs upgrading the federal government's estimated three billion square feet of office space at no real cost to taxpayers.
"More than 50 percent of the emissions reductions the United States has achieved since 2005 have been through gains in energy efficiency, and the federal government is the largest consumer of energy in America," said Senator Gardner. "Using ESPCs and UESCs to make the federal government more efficient while creating private sector jobs is the kind of commonsense solution that members of both parties can get behind. I've worked on this issue going back to my time in the House of Representatives, and I'm proud to join with my colleagues today and continue leading this effort that will help create private sector jobs, save American taxpayer dollars, and promote a cleaner environment."
"Increasing energy efficiency and saving taxpayer dollars through public-private partnerships makes good sense and is an area of bipartisan support," said Senator Coons. "I'm proud to introduce legislation that simultaneously supports local jobs, reduces the energy and water bills of the federal government, and invests in a more sustainable future."
"The federal government is the largest energy consumer in the country," said Representative Welch. "By making federal buildings energy efficient, this bipartisan bill will save taxpayer dollars, improve the environment and create jobs. In this Congress, we'll be working to get this practical energy efficiency legislation to the President's desk.
"We cannot continue to operate these outdated, energy inefficient federal facilities," said Congressman Kinzinger. "Our bipartisan, bicameral legislation is a commonsense solution to help end wasteful spending on inefficient energy buildings in order to deliver savings to the American taxpayers who are footing these energy bills."