Sec. 132 Federal Renewable Electricity Standard
The Senate bill includes a Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) that includes energy efficiency, but ACEEE credits no savings to this part of the bill as the maximum level of efficiency in this provision (4% of electricity sales by 2020) is less than business-as-usual when it comes to electricity efficiency. Twenty states are currently on track to reduce nationwide electricity use by more than 5% by 2020.
Sec. 201 State Partnership Industrial Energy Efficiency Revolving Loan Program
This provision would authorize DOE to fund "eligible lenders" to establish a revolving loan fund. The funds could be used by commercial or industrial manufacturers to either reduce energy intensity (including feedstocks) or increase the industrial competitiveness of US. The lenders would be community or economic development lenders who partner with state government agencies and a private financial institution to provide additional funding. All Federal funds must be matched at least dollar-for-dollar. Each program should last for 10 years. No lender will receive more than $100 million in federal funds in a single year. The total authorization is for $500 million per year for 3 years (2010-2012).
Sec. 204 Future of Industry Program and Sec.204(c): Industrial Research and Assessment Centers
This provision re-authorizes DOE's Industrial Technologies Program. Subsection (b), which directs DOE to create industry-specific road maps to direct R&D funding through the program, is not scored, as it does not offer any new appropriations. Subsection (c) Industrial Research and Assessment Centers expands authorizations for the highly successful yet underfunded Industrial Assessment Center (IAC) program, which are located at universities throughout the country and trains engineering students to, along with expert faculty, provide no cost energy audits to small to mid-sized manufacturing firms. This provision would lift the cap on the number of IACs, and establish up to 10 "Centers of Excellence" at current IACs around the country, which would house regional expertise and coordinate among the local IACs. Each Center of Excellence would be funded at $500,000. IACs would be directed to better communicate with other federal, state, and regional programs and organizations, such as MEPs and national labs. Up to $5 million would go toward placing students at manufacturing sites after an audit to help identify more savings and help implement recommendations. Internship costs would be shared with the employer. IAC authorizations would ramp up to $40 million by 2012 and beyond.
Sec. 206 Innovation and Industry Grants
This provision would establish grants awarded to State-industry partnerships to develop, demonstrate, and commercialize new energy, waste, or pollution reducing industrial technologies. Each grant would be no more than $500,000 and the State-industry partnership would have to match federal funds dollar-for-dollar.
Sec. 222-227 Reforms to Energy Star, Portable light fixtures, Commercial furnace standards
Section 222 details reforms to Energy Star, including: division of responsibilities between DOE and EPA, demonstration that Energy Star-qualified products meet Energy Star criteria, regular review of product standards, and publishing of standardized building energy audit methods. Section 227 includes stronger standards for gas-fired and oil-fired warm air furnaces to take effect in 2011. Lighting standards in Section 224 will improve the efficiency of most portable lighting fixtures manufactured on or after January 1, 2012.
Sec. 228 Motor Efficiency Rebate program (Section 228)
Section 228 details a motor efficiency rebate program for the purchase and installation of some new electric motors. This program is authorized to be funded through appropriations beginning at $80 million in 2011, and declining by $5 million each year until 2015.
Sec. 241 Building Codes
Section 241 of the bill establishes new building code standards for new building efficiency, providing for 30% improvements in 2010 and 50% improvements in 2016 for residential and commercial buildings. States will be responsible for adoption and enforcement of the codes,1 which will be funded at a rate of $100 million for FY 2009-2013, and such sums as are necessary in subsequent years.
Sec. 242 Multifamily and Manufactured Homes
ACELA establishes a program to promote energy efficiency in manufactured homes and multifamily (more than 5 units) buildings in Section 242. This program provides financial assistance in the form of grants to states and local governments to carry out programs to increase energy efficiency in these buildings.
Sec. 243 Building Training and Assessment Centers
Section 243 of ACELA established Building Training and Assessment Centers, based on DOE's Industrial Assessment Center program, designed to train new building engineers and technicians. This program also provides commercial and institutional building owners with technical assistance, and promotes R&D in clean energy technologies.
Sec. 251 Low Income Weatherization
This provision provides authorization for $1.7 billion for FY 2011-2015 for the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) at DOE.
Sec. 262 Building Retrofit Program
Section 202 of the bill establishes the Retrofit for Energy and Environmental Performance (REEP) program to promote comprehensive energy efficiency retrofits for residential and commercial buildings, in which per building energy savings of 20% or more are targeted.
Sec. 281 Building Labeling/Disclosure
Section 281establishes a voluntary building energy performance labeling program. This labeling program will serve as a rating system designed primarily to help home buyers and renters compare the energy efficiency of homes, and rating systems to help buyers and tenants compare the energy efficiency of commercial buildings of the same type. EPA is authorized to use the energy performance information developed to establish a voluntary Energy Star program recognizing high efficiency retrofits of existing commercial and residential buildings.
Additional Transportation Provisions
ACELA includes provisions to speed deployment and integration of plug-in electric drive vehicles. One provision would offer DOE financial support for state and local government programs that install recharging infrastructure or assist individuals and fleets in the purchase of plug-in vehicles and batteries. A second provision aims to bring about standardization of infrastructure, components, and protocols for plug-in electric vehicles, such as vehicle-to-grid connectors and communications, and battery safety.
Sharp fluctuations in gasoline prices and tight household budgets are causing many consumers to rethink their vehicle preferences, while automakers are paying more attention to the fuel economy of their offerings than they have in decades. After twenty years of stagnation, federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards have been set once again on an upward trajectory, thanks to the Energy Security and Independence Act of 2007, which requires that average new car and light truck fuel economy will increase by at least 40 percent, to 35 miles per gallon or more, by 2020. The new standards offer limited near-term relief, however. It takes 15 years for half of the vehicle stock to turn over, and 30 percent of vehicles of a given model year remain on the road after 20 years. Thus the benefit of increases in fuel economy standards will not be fully realized for many years. To quicken the pace of motor vehicle fuel savings, measures should be implemented to accelerate the retirement of the most inefficient vehicles in operation today.