NEWS IN THE WORLD OF POWER AND INTEGRATED BUILDING SYSTEMS
House Appropriations Committee Votes to Cut Energy Star by 40 Percent
THE HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE voted on July
18 to pass the Fiscal Year 2018 Interior and Environment
Appropriations Bill, which provides $31.4 billion to federal
investments in natural resources. This budget is $824 million
less than 2017, and part of that cut is to 2018 Energy Star
funding, which would drop to $31
million, a reduction of 40 percent.
The bill is $4.3 billion more than the
Trump administration’s budget request.
The administration had previously
called for the complete defunding of the
Energy Star program.
The entirety of the bill would go to
the Department of the Interior, U.S.
Forest Service, U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency, and other agencies.
“This legislation responsibly supports the agencies and
offices we rely on to preserve our natural resources for future
generations, and prioritizes our limited funding to programs
that protect environmental safety, such as the Chemical
Safety Board,” said House Appropriations Chairman Rodney
Frelinhuysen, R-New Jersey.
However, Energy Star proponents argue the program is
voluntary; remains popular with bipartisan support; and has
been successful at saving money, energy and emissions.
“Energy Star is one of the most popular government
programs in U.S. history and has enjoyed broad bipartisan
support since it was created under President George H. W. Bush,”
said Kateri Callahan, president, the Alliance to Save Energy.
“More than 90 percent of Americans know the Energy Star
brand, and nearly half have an Energy Star-rated appliance
in their home. Meanwhile, 16,000 companies have
voluntarily signed up to participate in it.”
The Energy Star program has expanded
to certify homes, commercial buildings and
manufacturing plants. According to the Alliance
to Save Energy, certified Energy Star buildings
have saved approximately $13 billion through
According to EnergyStar.gov, the program
helped U.S. homes and businesses save $34 billion
in 2015, and the Environmental Protection Agency,
which oversees the program, calculates every $1
invested in Energy Star-certified products saves $4.50 in lower
Congress will decide Energy Star’s fate in the coming
weeks as this bill moves ahead to become part of the 2018
comprehensive spending bill that must pass by the end of
September to avoid a federal government shutdown.
ACEEE Working on Motor Label Program to Fill Energy Ratings Void
AT A TIME WHEN ENERGY STAR may
be on the chopping block, a newcomer
is making its entrance, and the timing is
The American Council for an
Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has
announced the first concrete step in its
Extended Motor Product Label Initiative
(EMPLI), a national program it launched
three years ago to create an Energy Starlike label for commercial and industrial
products, initially focused on pumps, air
compressors and fans, and possibly
drives later on.
In late July, the ACEEE announced
that, “We’re on the cusp of making that
goal a reality.” The Hydraulic Institute
and its pump manufacturing members
have created a “Pump Energy Rating”
EnergyGuide provides energy saving
information on home appliances.
According to the ACEEE, since the
Hydraulic Institute developed its rating
and labeling system with the input of
energy-efficiency program administrators,
it can also become the basis for new
prescriptive rebate programs.
“Just as savings programs provided
per-horsepower rebates for high-efficiency motors in the past, new
programs will be able to do the same for
pumps, fans and air compressors in the
future,” the ACEEE stated.
In addition, the Hydraulic Institute
has created a database with information
on all tested and certified products, and
the Northwest Regional Technical Forum
has approved savings estimation methods
for many of these products.
Furthermore, the Northwest
Energy Efficiency Alliance
is working with software
developers to create an online
marketplace called the “Extended
Motor Product Marketplace” (XMP
MP), where all certified products can be
listed and energy-efficiency programs
can detail the features of their programs.
This will enable wholesalers and project
developers in the commercial and
industrial sectors to see if their clients are
eligible for incentives and apply for and
At this point, again, the EMPLI is
focusing solely on commercial and
industrial products. However, if the
government’s Energy Star program is
defunded, there is certainly room for the
private sector to create a similar program
on the residential side.