BPA continues to monitor state responses to COVID-19 and related changes and developments in policy. We continue to actively engage on several state policy topics of critical importance to our members:
- Health and Safety Protocols for contractors and customers
- New Post-COVID field practices that are likely here to stay
- State budget pressures and their potential impacts on future energy efficiency funding
- New state initiatives that are responding to COVID impacts.
Health and Safety Protocols
BPA continues to collect and analyze the consensus health and safety guidance that states are providing on worker protections and training that can help prevent the spread of COVID-19. We encourage you to train and educate your team to protect yourself and customers as work in homes proceeds in most jurisdictions. Best practices on training and guidance documents are available at https://www.building-performance.org/backtowork. BPA thanks the many contractors and industry allies that have contributed to these COVID response materials.
Many states are adopting more and more remote work options for contractors and businesses. While BPA contractors haven’t figured out how to get customers to do their own blower door tests, BPA contractors are finding more and more innovative ways to get work done remotely. And these innovations may lead to new less-intrusive practices that last beyond the pandemic.
One example of these remote options are Virtual Pre-Assessments that many contractors and utility managed programs are using to streamline the home energy audit process. These Pre-Assessments are being adopted in a growing number of states and can provide invaluable information and data before contractors arrive on site. They have also proven effective for scheduling, streamlining, and for eventually safely conducting a full, on-site home energy audit.
BPA believes that Virtual Pre-Assessments are not a substitute for on-site home energy audits. There are many challenges to providing Virtual Pre-Assessments in rural and low-income communities where internet access and broadband services may be unavailable. Despite these challenges, Virtual Pre-Assessments are becoming a more valuable and reliable tool for contractors to conduct work remotely during COVID – so many expect this new, virtual approach to getting started on home energy audits is here to stay.
Pressure on State Budgets Builds
BPA has reported previously on its successful efforts to oppose funding raids on energy efficiency programs in New York, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania. BPA will continue to monitor state budget discussions as states address increased demands for services and lower tax revenues because of COVID. One recent note from the Pew Foundation’s Stateline series highlights this general trend: “The COVID-19 outbreak doomed a 10-year stretch of growth in state tax collections. A final, pre-pandemic ranking shows that tax revenue in all but six states had fully recovered from the Great Recession by the end of 2019—by double-digit gains in half of the states but just barely in a few, after adjusting for inflation. Now states have entered a new recession with another tax revenue roller coaster ride ahead.”
You can take a look at how your state and its most recent budget revenues and projections are doing at Fiscal 50: State Trends and Analysis.
State Responses on COVID Impacts, Funding, and Vulnerable Communities
Several states are ramping up support for energy efficiency programs and rebates in response to the COVID crisis. Utility and state programs in Colorado, Connecticut, Michigan, Illinois, and New York have increased rebates and/or funding for energy efficiency programs - at least for the remainder of 2020. Some of these funding increases have been designed to allow state programs to “catch up” with consumers and increase demand for services in light of previous COVID related slowdowns or shutdowns in programs earlier this year.
In addition to these temporary COVID responses and funding increases – several states are beginning to re-examine longer-term questions like how energy efficiency programs can better serve low income and minority communities. One example is the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (“DEEP”) which recently announced a formal “Equitable Energy Efficiency proceeding” which will undertake to “define equity in the context of the energy efficiency and load management programs within DEEP’s purview and expand the inclusion and participation of individuals in underserved communities, such as minorities, customers with limited incomes, veterans, and those who rent their homes.”
The goal of this formal proceeding will be to identify barriers to equitable participation and the development of “metrics for tracking progress in addressing those barriers and measuring program outcomes and impacts from an equity perspective.” More information on the DEEP Equitable Energy Efficiency proceeding is available at Notice of Request for Comment.
BPA will continue to monitor these and other state policy topics as they develop further. If there are new developments in your state, let us know – we get many of our best tips and ideas about new and innovative policy developments from our members working in the field.
The House Appropriations committee approved their fiscal year 2021 (FY21) Energy and Water appropriations bill on July 13, setting the bill up for a full House vote within the next couple weeks. The bill provides $2.85 billion for the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, a $58 million increase from FY20. We saw increases to both the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) and State Energy Program (SEP) funding and maintained level funding for Building Technologies/Residential Buildings Integration. We were expecting level funding across the board due to the 2-year budget agreement dictating 2020 and 2021 spending levels, so the plus ups to WAP and SEP are great and unexpected news! In addition, the House Interior Environment bill, which is also awaiting a floor vote, increases Energy Star’s funding to $42 million in FY21 (up from $38.4 million in FY20) and rejects the Administration’s proposed shift to a fee-based funding mechanism.
Here is a comparison chart of previous funding and the current House proposal for our key programs:
BPA FY21 Request
President’s Budget Request
House FY21 E&W
Building Technologies Office
Residential Building Integration
$254M + $3M
In addition to the regular FY21 funding, House Appropriators have also included supplemental funding of $23.5 billion to the Department of Energy to support economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. Within this supplemental, there is $7.78 billion for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, with $3.2 billion for WAP and $730 million for SEP.
We expect this bill to pass the House within the next couple of weeks. The Senate is still stalled – we may or may not see them press forward with their version of the bill before August recess. BPA will provide continued updates as the appropriations process moves forward. Stay tuned!
This summer, the Building Performance Association has been keeping its focus on getting contractors back to work safely and making sure that energy efficiency programs remain fully funded and prepared for the COVID challenges ahead. Our state policy efforts have continued aggressively in three main areas:
Developing Health and Safety (H&S) Protocols for Back to Work
BPA has developed a single user-friendly source of information and training for contractors who are eager to get back to work in the safest manner possible in compliance with state and federal guidelines - Keeping You and Your Customers Safe and Healthy in the COVID-19 Environment.
Working to make the H&S Protocols applicable and safe for the residential energy efficiency business sector has required a good deal of behind the scenes negotiations with state agencies, state contractor organizations, and utility providers. This has not been an easy process given the uncertain health issues associated with COVID-19 and the shifting guidance received from federal agencies. That’s why BPA has also engaged DOE, the National Labs, and their consultants on the most appropriate protocols and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Technical modifications on the requirements for types of masks, coveralls, and building science techniques such as Blower Door assisted air sealing and testing have produced critical consensus agreements that will allow programs such as the Weatherization Assistance Program to get back to serving low-income communities safely.
Defending State Energy Efficiency Programs with Your Help
We reported in May of 2020 that the coronavirus shutdown prompted several large industrial firms to ask Utility Commissions in three states to immediately cut their utility bills and eliminate or reduce fees related to energy efficiency. These large users and business groups filed “extraordinary relief” Petitions and asked three state Utility Commissions to suspend the collection of funds energy efficiency programs. BPA answered these Petitions with overwhelming support in each state.
- New York – 152 contractors and small businesses signed in on support of this response.
- Pennsylvania – 61 contractors signed on in support of this response.
- Connecticut – 30 contractors signed on in support of this response.
A very big “thank you” our members and supporters for signing on to fight against these devastating attacks on program funding!
Monitoring Ongoing State Public Utilities Proceedings
Several state Utility Commissions are considering rule changes and other responses to the COVID crisis. These proceedings address issues ranging from shut-offs and collections activities considering the economic crisis to updates to guidance on “back to work” standards. BPA continues to monitor these proceedings and works with partners to file comments to help educate regulators and Commissions.
For example, in July of 2020, BPA, the Association for Energy Affordability, Inc., Building Performance Contractors Association of New York State, Building Performance Institute and E4TheFuture filed comments in A Proceeding on Motion of the Commission Regarding the Effects of COVID-19 on Utility Service at Case No. 20-M-0266 before the New York Public Service Commission (NY PSC). These joint comments urged the NY PSC to make sure contractors can continue to get back to work as soon as possible in New York state. The comments emphasized that “Energy efficiency retrofits can be safely conducted in the field by following recently developed health and safety (H&S) protocols. One of our shared policy goals is that every home should be energy efficient, comfortable, healthy, and safe - even during a pandemic.”
On June 30, the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis released their climate action plan, a 500-page report that provides a roadmap for Congress to address the climate crisis and build a prosperous clean energy economy. The report is the culmination of over a year of hearings and stakeholder input to develop policy recommendations—a process the Building Performance Association was closely involved in—and it clearly establishes the critical role of advancing energy efficiency in the building sector to combat climate change.
BPA Working for You: Communicating the Vital Role for Building Performance in a National Climate Strategy
In October 2019, Kara Saul-Rinaldi, Vice President of Government Affairs, Policy, and Programs for the Building Performance Association, testified at the Select Committee’s hearing on decarbonization of buildings as a member of an expert witness panel. At the hearing, Kara underlined how residential energy efficiency in particular is a key strategy for both reducing carbon emissions and improving the lives of Americans. BPA subsequently submitted extensive written testimony to the committee detailing a multi-pronged policy approach for advancing energy efficiency and building performance.
The Select Committee’s newly released report includes a number of BPA’s recommendations as essential components of a comprehensive national strategy to solve the climate crisis. In a significant win for BPA’s advocacy efforts, the report also highlights the HOPE for HOMES Act of 2020 which we have championed more recently to address the COVID crisis’ devastating impact on the home performance industry. The following elements from the report align with BPA policy priorities and represent key strategies for advancing our industry and leveraging building performance as a vital solution for cutting carbon emissions.
Incentives for Homeowner Investments in Energy Efficiency
The report recommends that Congress establish federal rebates for homeowner energy efficiency retrofits of existing homes and exclusively highlights the HOMES Act of 2019 and the HOPE for HOMES Act of 2020, both of which are central pieces of BPA’s federal policy effort to advance home performance nationwide. The report further advises Congress to pass a long-term extension and update of the 25C tax credit for homeowner investments in energy efficiency improvements.
The report also proposes the expansion of on-bill financing for energy efficiency in order to help low- and moderate-income Americans invest in these important upgrades, recommending that Congress direct the Department of Energy to provide utilities with technical assistance to expand this financing option.
BPA is also focused on legislation to advance workforce development and jobs training in the building performance industry. The report aligns with BPA’s recommendations to address workforce needs and help expand training and make it more inclusive. It includes the Blue Collar to Green Collar Jobs Development Act of 2019—legislation that BPA helped draft and testified in support of at congressional hearings, which would support training for energy efficiency workers and help build a larger and more diverse workforce.
The report also highlights the training component of the HOPE for HOMES Act of 2020, noting how the online HOPE training program would prepare workers to conduct retrofits that are eligible for HOMES rebates.
Increase Funding for Weatherization
The report urges Congress to help weatherize every eligible home in America, citing many of the health, safety, and economic benefits of weatherization which BPA outlined in its testimony before the Select Committee. Specifically, the report recommends expanding and increasing funding for the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), and highlights proposed legislation to reauthorize and modernize the program, both of which are key policy priorities for BPA. The report also advises Congress to create a grant program within WAP to help remediate health and safety issues in homes so that energy efficiency upgrades are possible, and calls for funding to weatherize public housing.
Ensuring Energy Efficiency is Valued in Real Estate Transactions
The report proposes that Congress should help home buyers leverage energy efficiency investments to increase their borrowing capacity for mortgages on energy-efficient homes. This is what the Sensible Accounting to Value Energy (SAVE) Act would support, by factoring in the cost savings from energy efficiency improvements on mortgage applications and thereby helping homeowners recoup the value of efficiency investments at the time of sale. BPA has advocated for this legislation and its inclusion in the report aligns with the recommendations in BPA testimony.
Access to Utility Data
BPA strongly supports ensuring consistent, secure, and reliable data access to improve the quantification of energy savings and non-energy benefits. Mirroring BPA’s recommendations, the report highlights this issue as an essential building block for reducing building energy use, urging Congress to encourage customer access to their own electricity data by establishing model standards and incentives for state adoption. It includes Rep. Welch’s Access to Consumer Energy Information Act (E-Access Act), a bill that BPA has championed, which calls on the Department of Energy to establish best practices and a common set of guidelines for safe and secure energy data access. Notably, the report discusses how “many startups are focusing on delivering smart technology-based solutions for energy use management [but] these companies often lack access to detailed data that would help them determine how to optimize their customers’ energy use”—an issue that BPA also underlined in its testimony.
Establish National Energy Efficiency Targets (EERS)
Another of the report’s principle recommendations for advancing energy efficiency is to enact a national energy efficiency resource standard (EERS), which was also one of BPA’s proposals to the Committee. In line with BPA recommendations, the report urges establishing these national targets based on the maximum achievable level of cost-effective energy efficiency potential in order to save consumers money on their power bills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The report also advises that “national energy efficiency targets should not preempt state initiatives; instead, they should allow states to set more ambitious standards.”
Provide Robust Funding for Important Department of Energy Programs
BPA consistently urges robust federal funding for Department of Energy (DOE) programs that support energy efficiency and are proven to provide significant returns on taxpayer dollars, including the State Energy Program (SEP) and the Building Technologies Office (BTO), in addition to WAP discussed above. The report reflects those recommendations, urging Congress to “significantly increase funding for the State Energy Program” and “provide robust funding for DOE to ramp up R&D for advanced building technologies.”
The report also highlights the important role of the Building Technologies Office (BTO) and states “there is a need for more research on building energy systems, grid-connected demand-side management technologies, and coordination of building energy systems with onsite electricity generation and energy storage.”
Expansion of Smart Home Technologies
Finally, BPA urged Congress to focus an innovation agenda on advancing smart home technologies for enhanced building performance and grid-interaction. In line with those recommendations, the report highlights smart and resilient buildings technologies and grid-integrated buildings as priority areas in the building sector for increased funding for research, development, demonstration, and deployment. The report also suggests expanding investment in broadband would enable more widespread use of smart thermostats and energy management systems that can reduce energy bills and emissions in the building sector.
A Milestone for Building Performance in Climate Action Planning
This report is intended to be a roadmap forward for congressional climate action, and therefore its focus on the urgency of advancing energy efficiency in buildings and the inclusion of BPA policy priorities is a significant win.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden just released his own climate plan and it references certain key elements from the Select Committee report. Specifically, one of the pillars of the Biden plan is to make dramatic investments in energy efficiency in buildings and it outlines a goal of creating 1 million jobs by upgrading 4 million buildings and weatherizing 2 million homes over 4 years.
In the midst of the immense uncertainty we currently face, it is important for our industry to be included in discussions on clean energy, climate, and economic recovery and to clearly communicate the important role for efficient buildings. BPA will continue advocating for robust federal policy to advance energy efficiency in buildings, to create jobs, save energy, improve indoor health, and be part of America’s climate solution.
 Weatherization Enhancement and Local Energy Efficiency Investment and Accountability Act
The past few weeks have been an exciting time for building performance legislation in Congress. On June 24th, the House and Senate simultaneously introduced the HOPE for HOMES Act of 2020 (H.R. 7325, S. 4052). This important legislation provides $6.5 billion to support on-line training for contractors while funding a rebate program for homeowners to upgrade the efficiency of their homes. Read the BPA Press Release and the bi-partisan congressional press release, and sign-on to support this legislation here.
On July 1, the House Passed “the INVEST in America Act” (H.R. 2), an infrastructure package that largely included the House Majority’s earlier introduced “Moving Forward Act.” This $1.5 trillion bill not only includes “HOPE for HOMES” after amendment, but also the BPA supported “H.R. 1315 Blue Collar to Green Collar Jobs Act” which includes the workforce grant program language BPA spearheaded and which specifically calls out building efficiency, retrofit, inspection, and auditing companies as eligible for grants. The bill also reauthorizes the Weatherization Assistance Program for five years at $350 million, increasing to $1 billion in FY2025 and amends the definition of weatherization materials to add renewable energy technologies and other advanced technologies to the list of weatherization materials that may be installed in residences under the program, and permits the Secretary of Energy to take improvements in health and safety of building occupants into consideration when setting standards under the program.
H.R. 2’s tax title includes 25C, 25D, 45L, and other EE tax provisions. Important to BPA members, the 25C tax credit that provides homeowners the ability to claim a credit for certain energy efficiency expenditures is extended through 2025. For expenditures and property placed in service starting in 2021, the provision modifies and expands the credit, including by:
- increasing the percentage of the credit for installing qualified energy efficiency improvements from 10% of the cost to 15%,
- increasing the lifetime cap on credits allowed under this provision from $500 to $1,200 and restarting the lifetime limit beginning in 2021, and
- updating various standards and associated limits to reflect advances in energy efficiency and removing eligibility of roofs and advanced main air circulating fans.
While the Senate has not indicated how it will move forward on infrastructure in 2020, the looming election, summer schedule, and on-going discussions to address the global pandemic are slowing the Senate pace. We will keep you updated as BPA continues its representation of the building performance industry in Congress.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Gwen Brown, Communications Director,
Interstate Renewable Energy Council
firstname.lastname@example.org | 650-423-1090National Energy Efficiency Career Map, Outreach Campaign to Highlight EE Career Options
June 24, 2020 – Through a recent three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Energy Building Technologies Office, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) and its partners will develop an interactive career map that highlights the breadth of rewarding career opportunities in the energy efficiency sectors. With this resource, the partners will conduct extensive outreach to reach a large audience of diverse stakeholders and foster a talent pipeline that is inclusive of low-income and other vulnerable populations.
“Raising awareness about the diversity of meaningful career options in the energy efficiency sectors, particularly among diverse and underserved communities, is crucially important,” said IREC President & CEO Larry Sherwood. “Not only will this work help advance a sustainable economy by fostering a pipeline of qualified energy efficiency workers, it will also ensure the benefits of employment in this area are accessible to more people who need them.”
Key partners in the project include the Building Performance Association (BPA), Building Performance Institute (BPI), the National Community Action Partnership (CAP), the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) and the Home Builders Institute (HBI). Each of these organizations are leaders in the energy efficiency sector and will play a pivotal role in raising awareness of this new resource among key audiences.
IREC specializes in the creation of interactive national clean energy career maps that showcase the breadth of jobs in a particular sector, while quickly facilitating a ‘deep dive’ into an occupation of interest when a user clicks to expand information for each job. Rich job detail and market data showcase not only the career, but the training and certification pathways to get there.
In cooperation with industry subject matter experts, the project team will identify critical, market-valued energy efficiency occupations and career paths to develop the career map. From there, a nationwide outreach campaign with partner and stakeholder organizations will promote careers in energy efficiency, leveraging the Map through conferences, websites, newsletters, email and social media networks. This outreach will include organizations serving low-income and other vulnerable populations of learners and workers, such as women and minorities, to raise awareness of energy efficiency career options and increase diversity in this important sector.
"Workforce development is the Building Performance Association's number one priority," said BPA CEO, Steve Skodak. "Diversity in our workforce is crucial. Contractors need greater access to qualified workers and that simply cannot be done without reaching key audiences, such as women, minorities, and young people. For those already working in energy efficiency, the career map will highlight training and certification pathways to help build the skills our industry needs. We are excited to work with the IREC team and partners who are coming together to create this invaluable resource."
“HBI has long served a wide range of students—many of them of the low-income and underserved populations that stand to benefit from this new interactive career map,” said HBI President and CEO Ed Brady. “Often, the difference between having a robust and diverse talent pipeline or not is a matter of access—to information about what’s available, to the vision of what’s possible for oneself and to the educational resources to ready oneself for career placement. Addressing these access needs, as this project will, can have a resounding impact on the housing industry currently in need of more than 200,000 skilled trades workers. We’re at a critical moment in history in which we have the opportunity to align positive and meaningful strides in diverse workforce growth with energy sustainability, housing affordability and economic prosperity. Together, there’s a lot we can accomplish.”
“The Community Action Network serves more than 15 million individuals each year,” said Denise Harlow, CEO of CAP. “The Energy Efficiency Career Map will be an important resource to assist individuals who wish to develop skills and create a career ladder in the energy field. A career in energy efficiency is a real opportunity to help move families out of poverty for the long term and toward economic security.”
“BPI is pleased to participate in this important Energy Efficiency Career Map project with IREC,” said BPI CEO Larry Zarker. “BPI has fourteen professional certifications in the market covering the assessment and upgrade of the nation’s 134 million homes. We set national standards for evaluating and upgrading the comfort, health and safety of homes and certify technicians to ensure quality workmanship. Our programs provide important entry points for anyone considering a career path relating to housing or home health.”
“The National Institute of Building Sciences brings to this project a proven track record of convening disparate groups within the building industry to reach consensus on important practices concerning both workforce development and sustainability,” said NIBS President and CEO Lakisha A. Woods, CAE. “We are looking forward to working with the IREC team and all project stakeholders to create tools that will enable and empower everyone to more fully understand career opportunities in the energy efficiency workforce.”
About IREC: The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) builds the foundation for rapid adoption of clean energy and energy efficiency to benefit people, the economy and our planet. IREC develops and advances the regulatory reforms, technical standards, and workforce solutions needed to enable the streamlined integration of clean, distributed energy resources. For more information, visit www.irecusa.org or follow IREC on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.
About National CAP: The Community Action Partnership (CAP) is a national nonprofit membership organization that provides technical assistance, training, and other resources to Community Action Agencies, nonprofit and public groups funded by the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG), federal funding that connects Americans to greater opportunity. CAP’s mission is to ensure the causes and conditions of poverty are effectively addressed and to strengthen, promote, represent, and serve the Community Action Network, a network of a thousand agencies in local communities. CAP also represents the Weatherization Assistance Program Network, 500 of which are also Community Action Agencies. For more information, visit: www.communityactionpartnership.com/energy-partnerships.
About BPA: The Building Performance Association (BPA) is a 501(c)(6) industry association with over 9,500 members across North America in contractor services, weatherization agencies, product manufacturers and distributors, program administrators, building science, and non-profits. BPA represents the largest network of professionals dedicated to advancing the home and building performance industry by delivering improved energy efficiency, health, safety, and environmental performance of buildings. BPA supports its members by offering educational programs, advocacy at the state and federal level, and member resources. For more information, please visit www.Building-Performance.org.
About BPI: The Building Performance Institute, Inc. (BPI) was founded in 1993 and has become the nation's premier standards development and credentialing organization for residential energy auditing and upgrade work. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, BPI’s mission is to provide the benefits of home performance to the nation’s homeowners through best practice standards, credentials and quality assurance services for the home performance and weatherization industry. For more information, visit www.bpi.org.
About HBI: The Home Builders Institute (HBI) is a national nonprofit that provides training, curriculum and job placement services for the building industry. With overall program job placement rates at over 85 percent for graduates, HBI training programs are taught in local communities across the country to at-risk youth, veterans, transitioning military members, justice-involved youth and adults, and displaced workers. Visit www.hbi.org for more information and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
About NIBS: The National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) successfully brings together representatives of government, the professions, industry, labor and consumer interests, and regulatory agencies to identify and resolve problems and potential problems that hamper the construction of safe, affordable structures for housing, commerce and industry throughout the United States. Established by the U.S. Congress in 1974, the Institute is a non-profit, non-governmental organization. For more information, visit www.nibs.org and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kara Saul Rinaldi
email@example.comHOPE for HOMES Act of 2020 Introduced with Bipartisan Support to Stimulate the Residential Energy Efficiency Industry with Immediate and Long-Term Initiatives
June 24, 2020 – Washington, DC – The Building Performance Association actively supports the HOPE for HOMES Act of 2020, which includes immediate relief and long-term support for the residential energy efficiency contractor industry negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Introduced in the House and Senate on June 24, the bill has bipartisan support and offers a two-pronged approach to support online contractor training and fuel re-hiring while providing incentives to homeowners to invest in energy efficiencies in their homes.
Since the start of the pandemic, the energy efficiency sector has lost over 413,000 jobs with projections to lose many more if immediate action is not taken. HOPE for HOMES Act proposes $500 million to support online training for contractors, preparing them to significantly advance America’s existing home infrastructure through the $6 billion Home Energy Savings Rebate program.
“We need the HOPE for HOMES Act for immediate stimulus for our contractors to receive adequate training to revive the industry,” said Steve Skodak, CEO of Building Performance Association. “Providing accessible training for contractors on one side and incentive for homeowners to apply energy efficiencies to their home on the other creates a clear opportunity for everyone.”
Through the establishment of grants for online workforce training, residential contractors will immediately gain access to online training designed to prepare them to conduct comprehensive home energy efficiency retrofits. These stipends will allow contracting businesses to re-hire and re-invest in their employees during the economic downturn.
The Home Online Performance-Based Energy-Efficiency (HOPE) qualification is designed to serve as a pathway to participate in the Home Owner Managing Savings (HOMES) rebate program, which would provide rebates to homeowners who undertake energy efficiency home retrofits, thereby supporting contractor small businesses that are providing energy efficiency products and installations for their customers.
The program will spur the creation of important jobs in contracting, manufacturing and retail sales of energy-efficient technologies and products. Contracting jobs are inherently local, and many will be provided by small business contractors. The HOPE for HOMES Act would support these small businesses and local job creation across the country during a time of urgent need.
Along with the advocacy work of Building Performance Association and support by its members, HOPE for HOMES Act has the wide support of organizations across the industry including Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), Johnson Controls, Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC, National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO).
The bill will be introduced in the House by Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT), Rep. David McKinley (R-WV), Rep. Tony Cárdenas, (D-CA), Rep. André Carson (D-IN), and Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY) and in the Senate by Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH).
The Building Performance Association is a membership-driven 501(c)6 industry association dedicated to advancing the home and building performance industry. Built upon three decades of experience, the association is well-positioned to provide industry support through key areas including advocacy, education, programs, networking, publications, and community. Our members are individuals, companies, and organizations who work to deliver improved energy efficiency, health, safety, and environmental performance to people in their homes across the United States and Canada. For more information, please visit www.Building-Performance.org.
Some Pennsylvania business groups are using the COVID crisis to petition the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission (PA PUC) to drastically cut funding for energy efficiency programs. A petition filed by the Industrial Energy Consumers of Pennsylvania (IECPA) seeks “emergency relief” to “suspend” or to shut down energy efficiency programs in Pennsylvania.
BPA and state allies are fighting against this job-crushing petition and BPA a response and also joined in on an Energy Efficiency Advocates Response.
Update: On June 18, 2020, a group of 61 contractors filed a Response at Building Performance Association - Answer in Opposition to Petition.
Some Connecticut business groups are using the COVID crisis to petition the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) to drastically cut funding for energy efficiency programs.
A motion filed by Connecticut Industrial Energy Consumers seeks “emergency relief” to shut down energy efficiency programs in Connecticut. BPA and state allies are fighting against this job-crushing motion filed its objections and response on May 1, 2020.
We're asking our Connecticut members and allies to join this fight against drastic cuts by adding your name to the letter below. Your signature will help support energy efficiency programs in Connecticut and help make the case that these programs can drive post-COVID economic recovery by creating new jobs, activating skilled workforces, boosting economic activity, and delivering benefits for all ratepayers.
Please sign this letter. Together we can send PURA a message of support for energy efficiency programs in Connecticut.
Some New York business groups that have opposed energy efficiency programs in the past are using the COVID crisis to “Petition” the New York Public Service Commission (NY PSC) to drastically cut funding for energy efficiency programs. The Petition seeks “emergency relief” to shut down energy efficiency programs in New York.
The Building Performance Association and its allies are fighting against this job-crushing Petition and on April 28, 2020, BPA filed a Response in NY PSC Case # 20-M-0187.
BPA is asking its New York State members and allies to take action against drastic cuts by adding your name to this letter.
Your signature will help support energy efficiency programs in New York and help make the case that energy efficiency programs can drive post-COVID economic recovery by creating new jobs, activating skilled workforces, boosting economic activity in key labor-intensive sectors, and delivering benefits for all ratepayers.