Alliance to Save Energy president testifies against proposed changes to ENERGY STAR Program

Published on November 09, 2017 by Kevin Randolph

Kateri Callahan

Alliance to Save Energy President Kateri Callahan told Congress in testimony on Tuesday that a proposed bill to reform the ENERGY STAR program could weaken it significantly.

“The old adage, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ applies very well to today’s ENERGY STAR program and should be the test against which the subcommittee determines the content of any bill designed to change or improve the program,” Callahan said in her written testimony.

ENERGY STAR is designed to help consumers, businesses and government agencies save money by using energy more efficiently. Since it began, ENERGY STAR and its partners have delivered $430 billion in utility bill savings to consumers and businesses, according to the Alliance to Save Energy.

Specifically, Callahan’s testimony stated that while the Alliance is open to shifting some responsibilities from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the Department of Energy (DOE), it does not support the wholesale moved to DOE proposed in the bill.

Callahan also said that the Alliance does not support the bill’s proposal to apply the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) to the specification-setting process for ENERGY STAR products, saying that it would slow down the program and serve as a disincentive for participation.

“The Alliance looks forward to working with the subcommittee and ENERGY STAR stakeholders to ensure that continuous program improvement and innovation occurs to streamline and facilitate the involvement of partners while also ensuring that the program continues to deliver energy and dollar-savings to consumers and businesses,” Callahan said.

This bill comes at a time when the future of the program’s budget is uncertain. The Administration’s fiscal year 2018 (FY2018) budget recommends eliminating the ENERGY STAR program. The FY2018 House Interior-Environment Appropriations bill includes $31 million for ENERGY STAR, an approximately 25 percent reduction compared to current funding.