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house Bill H.R. 762

Should the Dept. of Energy Help Schools Become More Energy-Efficient?

Argument in favor

School administrators — who have many competing demands on their time — would benefit from a “one-stop shop” to help them navigate the maze of federal programs to help make their schools more energy efficient.

burrkitty's Opinion
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03/05/2019
I’ve always thought it was foolish that we have these enormous buildings sitting primarily empty all summer and we don’t have solar panels on the roof. Especially the schools that have the metal roofs. The peel and stick solar panels were DESIGNED FOR THOSE ROOFS. Why?
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David 's Opinion
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03/05/2019
Local taxpayers focus on schools and local government in how their tax dollars are spent. The more energy efficient schools can become, the more the students and the taxpayers benefit. Supporting this should be an automatic.
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NorthTexas's Opinion
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03/04/2019
Frankly we need to retrofit schools with solar panels where appropriate. We have vast rooftops That could be in the very least supporting electrical needs of the school. We have old buildings that don’t hold heat or cool in and that needs to be fixed. That can’t happen without money. If we fix it and improve them that’ll save money in the long run.
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Argument opposed

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) already publishes a comprehensive guide to increasing energy efficiency in K-12 schools, in addition to providing a list of resources and case studies on its website. There’s no need to duplicate efforts at the Dept. of Energy.

Jason's Opinion
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03/05/2019
This is a state or local matter; no federal government need apply.
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Bernie's Opinion
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03/05/2019
A more poignant question is should the department of energy and education still exist?
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Poli.Sci's Opinion
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03/04/2019
This is a state issue and the Federal budget is barely able to support the school systems now as is without the need to put more fingers from the Federal government into school policy. Instead, allow the states to drive initiatives to help schools out since the state governments are more directly linked with the school systems and the people associated with them. Keep the Federal government out of the school systems.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Energy and Commerce
      Energy
    IntroducedJanuary 24th, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 762?

This bill — the Streamlining Energy Efficiency for Schools Act of 2019 — would direct the Dept. of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy and Renewable Energy to establish a clearinghouse for disseminating information about programs and financing mechanisms to help schools initiate, develop, and finance energy efficiency, distributed generation, and energy retrofitting projects.

The DOE Office of Energy and Renewable Energy would be required to: 1) consult with appropriate agencies to develop a list of programs and financing mechanisms that are, or may be, used for the projects, and 2) coordinate with appropriate agencies to develop a collaborative education and outreach effort to streamline communications and promote the programs and financing mechanisms.

The DOE would also be required to provide technical assistance to help develop and finance projects, develop and maintain a single online resource website, and establish a peer resource program to recognize schools for successful implementation of energy efficiency, distributed generation, and energy retrofitting projects.

Impact

Schools; energy efficiency; DOE; and the DOE Office of Energy and Renewable Energy.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 762

When this bill was introduced in the 115th Congress, the CBO estimated that it wouldn’t significantly affect the federal budget. The CBO estimated that any additional costs the DOE incurred to expand existing efforts to promote boosting schools’ energy efficiency under this bill would cost less than $500,000 annually.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA) introduced this bill to provide a coordinating structure to help schools better navigate available federal programs and financing options for energy efficiency improvements to their facilities. When he introduced this bill in the 115th Congress, Rep. Cartwright said:

“This bill promotes strategic and cost-saving investment while improving our schools and protecting the environment. It lessens burdens on school administrators by establishing an efficient, one-stop shop for schools, providing administrators with better access to information and resources for implementing these upgrades.”

The Alliance to Save Energy, an energy efficiency advocacy group, supports this bill. Its president, Kateri Callahan, says:

“The savings from improved efficiency are very real. We’re talking about millions of dollars, and by creating a central clearinghouse for information, this bill would help busy school districts and principals put those savings into action educating children.”

Researchers at the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC) found that energy efficiency improvements lowered electricity consumption by three percent on average, reducing power bills and freeing up money for textbooks and other priorities. However ,they also found that on average, schools received only 24 percent of the energy savings that were projected before investing in the upgrades.

This bill has 26 bipartisan cosponsors, including 25 Democrats and one Republican. It was first introduced in the 113th Congress. It unanimously passed the House in 2014, 2016, and 2017, but has yet to be enacted into law. Last Congress (115th), this Rep. Cartwright introduced this bill with the support of 50 bipartisan cosponsors, including 41 Democrats and nine Republicans, and it passed the House by a voice vote before failing to receive a committee vote in the Senate.

This bill has the support of several groups representing school administrators, including AASA (The School Superintendents Association), the Association of Educational Service Agencies, the Association of School Business Officials International, the National Association of Elementary School Principals, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the National Rural Education Advocacy Consortium, the National Rural Education Association, and Rebuild America’s Schools. Several green building groups, including the Alliance to Save Energy, ASHRAE, Green Business Certification, Inc., and the U.S. Green Building Council, also support this bill. Additionally, the Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA) also supports this bill.


Of NoteIn the U.S. K-12 school system, energy costs are the largest non-workforce expense. Estimates put the annual total at between $6 billion to $8 billion. It’s estimated that schools could save up to 30 percent on electric utility bills through energy retrofits, installation of energy-efficient equipment, and distributed generation resources. This extra $2 billion in cost savings could be used to purchase nearly 40 million new textbooks.

Additionally, many schools are in urgent need of facilities improvements. One Dept. of Education survey found that 43 percent of schools indicated that the poor condition of their facilities interfered with the delivery of instruction. Many of these problems involve heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. Upgrading these systems would enable schools to improve their learning environments, save on energy bills, and focus scarce funds on other priorities.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) already publishes a guide to energy efficiency programs in K-12 schools, wherein it outlines how to plan and design approaches to energy efficiency in K-12 schools, the foundational principles for program development, strategies for effective program implementation, investment and financing opportunities for energy efficiency projects, and resources at all levels of government. In its publication, the EPA calls local governments “well positioned to work through school districts to improve energy efficiency in K-12 school buildings.” On its website, the EPA also provides a list of resources to help schools develop energy efficiency programs, including the EPA, other federal agencies and programs, national organizations, and state and local entities.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / Zhang Shu)

AKA

Streamlining Energy Efficiency for Schools Act of 2019

Official Title

To amend the Energy Policy and Conservation Act to provide for the dissemination of information regarding available Federal programs relating to energy efficiency projects for schools, and for other purposes.

    I’ve always thought it was foolish that we have these enormous buildings sitting primarily empty all summer and we don’t have solar panels on the roof. Especially the schools that have the metal roofs. The peel and stick solar panels were DESIGNED FOR THOSE ROOFS. Why?
    Like (65)
    Follow
    Share
    This is a state or local matter; no federal government need apply.
    Like (20)
    Follow
    Share
    Local taxpayers focus on schools and local government in how their tax dollars are spent. The more energy efficient schools can become, the more the students and the taxpayers benefit. Supporting this should be an automatic.
    Like (29)
    Follow
    Share
    Frankly we need to retrofit schools with solar panels where appropriate. We have vast rooftops That could be in the very least supporting electrical needs of the school. We have old buildings that don’t hold heat or cool in and that needs to be fixed. That can’t happen without money. If we fix it and improve them that’ll save money in the long run.
    Like (23)
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    To my representatives: Please support this bill seems positively innovative to me.
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    I say the Department of Energy should do its job. Being tasked to create a “one stop 🛑 shop” for schools 🏫 is a fantastic idea. School Administrators have too muck on their plates to be trying to distill knowledge from a multitude of disparate policies.
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    Sure. What may benefit schools more, is to change the financial legislation, such that allows schools to utilize Operational budgets to build schools, additions and new buildings as LEED Platinum certified, so that the future operating budgets start to decline, due to energy efficiencies. Currently, they receive massive budgets to build new facilities that are traditional and conventional, without incorporating new energy-efficient technologies, to reduce future operating expenditures. This is largely due to politics and those who are continuing to fight, what they deem as”Liberal” philosophies.
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    A more poignant question is should the department of energy and education still exist?
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    It is a good thing that the implementation of renewable energy will be established at educational institution, be that colleges, universities or K-12. This would also be an excellent learning experience for the students, when they see that renewable resources are used, so we can help save the environment.
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    School administrators need any and all support that they can get. I’d be in support of and recommend the passage of this House Bill H.R. 762 AKA the Streamlining Energy Efficiency for Schools Act of 2019 which would direct the Dept. of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy and Renewable Energy to establish a clearinghouse for disseminating information about programs and financing mechanisms to help schools initiate, develop, and finance energy efficiency, distributed generation, and energy retrofitting projects. School administrators — who have many competing demands on their time — would benefit from a “one-stop shop” to help them navigate the maze of federal programs to help make their schools more energy efficient. SneakyPete.......... 👍🏻WhyNot👍🏻. 3*4*19..........
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    H.R. 762 deserves the support of everyone. The budget of the Department of Energy is enormous and facilitating the retrofitting of schools to be more energy efficient is something the DOE should be doing. The more proactive we are the better chance we have of slowing the climate crisis before we reach the next tipping point. Climate change deniers need to take a deep breath and get a grip on reality.
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    Yes, but please include getting schools in shape for the changing climate. Let’s try to be a bit more proactive when it comes to the FUTURE of our schools, please.
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    This is a state issue and the Federal budget is barely able to support the school systems now as is without the need to put more fingers from the Federal government into school policy. Instead, allow the states to drive initiatives to help schools out since the state governments are more directly linked with the school systems and the people associated with them. Keep the Federal government out of the school systems.
    Like (6)
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    Our schools should take a lead in the move to clean, renewable energy use and energy efficiency.
    Like (6)
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    We pay enough in school tax money schools should be able to upgrade. School buildings are not utilized all day, so lighting would be the only up grade. HVAC should already been take care of. Most school administrations DO NOT use tax money wisely. So I disagree with this proposal. Fir example Washoe County School District is 49 million in debt due to mismanagement.
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    Absolutely, all public government buildings should be moving to non fossil fuel based energy.
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    Brilliant idea - saving money in the long run.
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    Yes we know the EPA now headed by a climate change denier and coal lobbyists will not help anyone become more energy efficient so I guess it only makes sense for the Department of Energy to take over and do something constructive. Saved money in energy to be used directly for pupils books and supplies. This can be a win win for all.
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    Fighting Climate Change is not a state issue. This is a HUMANITY ISSUE. Not to be left to the states. That’s just dumb Republican BS such as “we need to do more studies” . No act now!
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    I think the local government should do something to help schools evoke more energy efficient. Solar panels in the summer sound like a great idea!
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