New bill will support energy innovations at the state level

June 20, 2013
Contact: 
Sharyn Stein, 202-572-3396, sstein@edf.org

(Washington, D.C. – June 20, 2013) Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) strongly supports a new proposal from Senators Mark Warner (D-VA) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) to improve America’s overall energy efficiency through a competitive grant program for states.

The two introduced their State Energy Race to the Top Initiative today.

Under the measure, states could apply to the Department of Energy for funding for their most innovative ideas in energy efficiency, clean energy development and smart grid technologies. The goal of the measure is to double the productivity of U.S. electricity use by 2030.

“Reducing the amount of energy we waste is the fastest and easiest way to reduce both our energy costs and the amount of harmful pollution we put into our air,” said EDF’s Elgie Holstein.“The State Energy Race to the Top Initiative will encourage states to develop innovative new ways to use their power wisely, and will provide funding for the best of those ideas.”

Much of the innovation in American energy policy is already occurring at the state level. The

State Energy Race to the Top Initiative recognizes the leadership that states have shown, and aims to harness that innovation through a voluntary energy productivity challenge.

States, public power utilities, rural electric cooperatives and tribes would be eligible to participate. They could submit proposals for energy efficiency programs that are tailored to their own unique energy needs and profiles – including policies related to building efficiency, combined heat and power, demand response, and smart grid. The programs will be judged based on improvements made over the states’ own energy profiles today – not compared to each other.

“The State Energy Race to the Top Initiative will reward the best American ideas, while also helping states to save money and provide their citizens with cleaner air,” said Holstein. “We thank Senators Warner and Manchin for championing this bill to protect our health, our environment – and our wallets, and we urge the Senate to pass this bill as quickly as possible.”

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