Senators reintroduce bill to prevent delays in federal funding for state energy assistance programs

Published on January 25, 2019 by Kevin Randolph

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U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Susan Collins (R-ME), Chris Coons (D-DE) and Jack Reed (D-RI) reintroduced legislation Wednesday to prevent delays in distributing grants through the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) and the State Energy Program (SEP) to state agencies and local partners.

WAP and SAP are state-driven energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives that aim to reduce energy costs for low-income households, foster private sector energy innovation and enhance emergency planning and response.

“This bipartisan legislation will cut through bureaucratic red tape to speed up federal investments in Granite State clean energy projects, helping to lower energy costs for New Hampshire businesses, low-income families and seniors,” Shaheen said. “For New Hampshire to compete in a 21st-century economy, our state needs to be at the forefront of energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives, which are critical to our economy, environment, and working families. This bill will help ensure federal resources are delivered to New Hampshire energy programs in a timely and efficient manner, benefitting residents and companies across the state.”

The Investing in State Energy Act would direct the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to distribute the full annual award amount of WAP and SEP funds to states, tribes and other direct grantees no later than 60 days after funds are appropriated by Congress.

The bill is supported by the National Association of State Energy Officials, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the National Community Action Foundation, the National Consumer Law Center and several other organizations.