Murkowski Urges Caution with Building Efficiency Programs

March 11, 2010
04:06 PM
MARCH 11, 2010                                         or ANNE JOHNSON (202) 224-7875   
Murkowski Urges Caution with Building Efficiency Programs
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today said that while energy efficiency holds great promise for decreasing energy use, Congress must be careful in enacting provisions to boost home energy efficiency as part of a jobs bill.
“I am pleased that today we are moving the efficiency conversation forward with bills that expand on what this committee passed last summer,” Murkowski said at a hearing on several building efficiency bills. “However, in the past year we’ve seen that sometimes, despite our best intentions, federal initiatives do not always play out the way we intend.”
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee last week held an oversight hearing on the Department of Energy’s (DOE) stimulus funds. Despite receiving unprecedented levels of funding, few homes have been weatherized or buildings retrofitted to be more energy efficient.
“To proceed with both a proposed commercial and residential retrofit plan, estimated to cost more than $12 billion, without accounting for lessons learned is a hazardous path,” Murkowski said. 
Murkowski also emphasized that while she supports energy efficiency, there is at least one major problem she sees in the Home Star proposal.
“Under Home Star, those who retrofit their homes themselves are not eligible for the rebates,” Murkowski said. “It is important to encourage all homeowners to enhance energy efficiency in their homes. But as the program is currently drafted, those who ‘do it yourself’ are left out in the cold.”
For further information, please contact Robert Dillon at 202.224.6977 or or Anne Johnson at 202.224.7875 or