Sens. Murkowski, Cantwell Call on Energy Department to Examine Benefits of Thermal Insulation

November 13, 2015
09:15 AM

U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., the committee’s ranking member, sent a bipartisan letter to Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz requesting a study on the impact of thermal insulation on water and energy use within federal buildings and facilities.

“Among the most cost-effective and available energy efficiency technologies is thermal insulation. We recognize the general benefits that thermal insulation can have in the industrial and commercial sectors when it is installed on ductwork, steam piping, hot and cold water piping, mechanical systems and other equipment and facilities. However, to encourage greater use of this technology, it would be helpful to have experts within the Department of Energy analyze and report on the specific benefits thermal insulation presents. Accordingly, we request that you conduct a study on the impact that thermal insulation can have on energy and water use within federal buildings and facilities,” Murkowski and Cantwell wrote in the letter.

The National Insulation Association (NIA) submitted testimony for the record to the committee in April that included NIA’s estimates that implementing a thermal insulation maintenance program in the commercial and industrial market segments would result in carbon dioxide reductions of 105 million metric tons and roughly $3.8 billion per year in energy savings.

Murkowski and Cantwell have long recognized the importance of promoting energy efficiency, which is why they included an efficiency title in S. 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015, their broad, bipartisan energy bill that passed the committee on a 18-4 vote. However, language calling for this study was not included in the bill because the Department of Energy already has authority to undertake this effort.

The letter is attached and available on the committee’s website.