As the Shaheen-Portman energy efficiency bill continues to mire in back-and-forth debates on the Senate floor, an amendment to the legislation earned backing from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). The addition, known as the State Energy Race to the Top Initiative, was ranked by ACEEE as number one in cost-benefit to U.S. taxpayers and second in its ability to potentially save costs for utility customers.
The State Energy Race to the Top Initiative, initially drafted as a separate bill in June 2013, continues the pursuit of President Barack Obama's nationwide goal of doubling efficient electricity use by 2030 through the promotion of a voluntary program on state and local levels. The idea is to encourage both states and local municipalities to brainstorm ideas for increasing energy productivity, creating new jobs, promoting industrial competitiveness and reducing utility expenses that – if successful – could then earn these parties federal funds to enact these strategies. According to the ACEEE analysis, every dollar invested into Race to the Top would yield $8.40 in saved energy costs.
If Shaheen-Portman is passed, the Race to the Top amendment would halve the amount of wasted power from homes and businesses over the next two decades. Additionally, the initiative would reduce a total amount of carbon dioxide emissions equal to the output of approximately 20 coal-fired plants.
While senators continue to debate on the bill, homeowners in Washington D.C. can begin implementing their own green measures with help from local DC home inspectors. These professionals can evaluate your property for any sources of wasted energy and recommend steps to resolve these problems, reduce your home's carbon footprint and scale back those expensive monthly utility bills.