It’s already been a good month for energy efficiency in the U.S. The typically quiet dog days of August have brought some potentially big policy moves in the space:
- For the first time, New York State has issued bonds to finance loans for consumers to pay for residential energy efficiency improvements. The issuing agency is the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), and it raised $24.3 million in the bonds’ first issuance. The AAA/Aaa-rated bonds are backed by a guarantee from the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation.
- The U.S. Department of Energy has reached an agreement with a coalition of 10 states and New York City on a timetable for updating long-overdue energy-efficiency standards for four commercial appliances: walk-in coolers and freezers, metal halide lamps, electric motors and commercial refrigeration equipment. Under the agreement, the coalition of states and NYC has the right to take legal action against the DOE if it fails to meet any of the future efficiency-standard-setting deadlines. In announcing the agreement, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said the new standards could save businesses and consumers $156 million per month.
- Before heading out on their summer recess, members of Congress highlighted the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act as a top priority upon their return on September 9, reports the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy on its blog. The bill contains specifications on building codes, industrial energy efficiency, and improvements to federal facilities’ energy efficiency, though it’s likely to be reworked with a host of amendments.