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Tonko Weatherization Bill Advances Out of Committee

Energy & Commerce unanimously approves measure to strengthen low-income residential energy efficiency program

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Washington, July 17, 2019 | comments

WASHINGTONCongressman Paul Tonko (D-NY) announced today that his weatherization bill, cosponsored by Reps. Bobby Rush (D-IL) and Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), was approved by a vote of the full Energy and Commerce Committee. H.R. 2041, The Weatherization Enhancement and Local Energy Efficiency Investment and Accountability Act, would reauthorize and strengthen the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) that plays a vital role in helping Americans make their homes more energy efficient. The bill is now available for a final vote by the full members of the U.S. House of Representatives.

“Our low-income neighbors pay nearly three times as much of their household income on energy bills than those of us in higher income strata,” said Tonko. “These heavier costs can result from energy-inefficient appliances, uninsulated walls, and other outdated aspects of their homes that are often cost-effective to address. This legislation will help the most vulnerable Americans keep more money in their pockets while also saving energy, supporting good jobs and local businesses, and reducing America’s carbon footprint. This has proven to be a valuable investment in the past, as every dollar we invest in our weatherization program delivers an estimated $4.50 in both energy and non-energy benefits. I am grateful to my colleagues for advancing this common sense legislation and look forward to its continued progress through the House.”

A 2019 report by the Department of Energy shows that the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) provides services to 35,000 homes each year while supporting 8,500 jobs. DOE estimates an average annual cost savings of $283 per home. H.R. 2041 was introduced in May of this year.

H.R. 2041, The Weatherization Enhancement and Local Energy Efficiency Investment and Accountability Act:

  • Reauthorize the Weatherization Assistance Program for five year, rising gradually to $350 million in Fiscal Year 2024
  • Modernize the definition of weatherization materials to include renewable energy technologies and other advanced technologies
  • Allow re-weatherization of homes 15 years after past weatherization services were completed
  • Create a small, competitive grant program to support innovative weatherization practices

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