04/20/2016

Senate Energy Efficiency Bill S. 2012

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Thank you to Senator Rob Portman for ensuring that the Portman-Shaheen Energy Efficiency Bill, passed today by the Senate, includes provisions to assist nonprofits with the costs of retrofitting their facilities to become more energy efficient. Creating energy efficiencies is vital to ensuring that we maximize the use of philanthropic dollars to best serve the most vulnerable populations and to maintain healthy and vibrant communities.

Please read the following statement from our international partner, Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA):

Dear Friends:

I am pleased to report that earlier today, the Senate approved a bi-partisan energy policy measure, the Energy Policy Modernization Act (S. 2012). The House passed its own energy reform measure last December, the North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act (H.R.8). Both bills modernize energy infrastructure, bolster the county’s energy security, and promote energy efficiency. The Senate bill, however, also includes a new nonprofit energy efficiency retrofit pilot program. Many thanks to those of you who have advocated for the provision. The following is a brief backgrounder on the Senate-approved proposal and expected next steps in the process.

Background

The proposed nonprofit retrofit program would assist hospitals, youth centers, schools, social services agencies, faith-based organizations, and others, acquire energy-efficiency products, equipment, or systems to improve their energy efficiency. Improvements might include the retrofitting of roofs, windows or doors; acquiring lighting, plumbing, heating, ventilation, or air conditioning systems; or the acquisition of renewable energy generation systems. S. 2012 would cap grant awards at $200,000, and would authorize appropriations of $10 million, annually, for each of fiscal years 2016 through 2020.

The Jewish Federations has a long history of public private partnerships and with working with Congress to promote innovations and efficiencies in nonprofit human services delivery. In this regard, we have advocated for the inclusion of the nonprofit energy retrofit program within the Senate bill. The program, if enacted, could benefit family services agencies, community centers, homes for the aged, day care facilities, schools, museums and other Jewish communal institutions, many of which are several decades old and some more than a century. Creating energy efficiencies is vital to ensuring that we maximize the use of philanthropic dollars to best serve the most vulnerable populations and to maintain healthy and vibrant communities.

Next Steps

JFNA looks forward to continuing to advocate for the nonprofit retrofit program, as the House and Senate work towards adopting a final compromise bill at conference. Once the timing and selection of conferees have been determined, we hope you will join us in further advocacy to preserve the nonprofit provision in the final bill.

Robert B. Goldberg, Esq.
Senior Director, Legislative Affairs
The Jewish Federations of North America

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