WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The National Association of Energy Service Companies (NAESCO) is proud to support the introduction yesterday in the 117th Congress of the Open Back Better Act of 2021 by U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) and U.S. Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE).
The Act, previously by Sen. Smith and Rep. Blunt Rochester introduced in the 116th Congress under the same name, allocates funding for States, federal agencies and Tribes to initiate at eligible facilities a range of “covered projects,” including those that advance building resiliency and public health and safety performance, as well as energy efficiency, renewable energy capacity and integration with the electric grid.
“This is a long-awaited step towards sustaining the function of our nation’s mission-critical infrastructure through this challenging period,” said NAESCO Executive Director Dr. Timothy D. Unruh. “Moreover, the Open Back Better Act will support the gains in public health, employment and infrastructural performance outcomes needed to achieve an enduring, equitable and truly sustainable national economic recovery, especially as state, local and tribal government revenue continues to be so badly affected by the pandemic.”
The Open Back Better Act of 2021, which is also included as a subtitle in the Climate Leadership and Environmental Action for our Nation’s (CLEAN) Future Act introduced this week by the House Committee on Energy and Climate leadership, would also make use of existing federal programs so as to minimize political opposition and bureaucracy while maximizing the impact of each federal dollar allocated.
“We support this bill, specifically the additional funding directed towards the AFFECT program that will add incremental funding to Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPCs) to achieve critical infrastructure improvements that go far beyond traditional energy and water savings alone,” said the Federal Performance Contracting Coalition (FPCC) in a statement. “And by partnering with the private sector to achieve these vital modernization upgrades, public facility managers can expect to leverage five times the amount that would be accomplished through federal funding alone. Upgrading the thousands of federal buildings, military installations and other mission critical facility infrastructure across the country will save billions of dollars in operational energy costs and create thousands of much-needed jobs.”
Reflecting upon the reintroduction of the Open Back Better Act, Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester pointed to its coincidence with the growing consensus among her colleagues and across the Biden-Harris administration that “we must be intentional about how we rebuild from the pandemic-induced public health and economic crises,” and that the Act is intended to be a step to “build back a stronger, cleaner, healthier and safer economy – especially for communities of color and low-income.”
NAESCO is pleased to be joined in its support of the 2021 Open Back Better Act by the Federal Performance Contracting Coalition (FPCC), the Alliance to Save Energy (ASE), the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) and the Insulators Union.
The National Association of Energy Service Companies (NAESCO) is the leading advocacy and accreditation organization for Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) and is dedicated to modernizing America’s building infrastructure through performance contracting. Uniting the energy service industry, NAESCO promotes favorable government policies; sponsors a rigorous accreditation program; provides training and education; and champions the interests of ESCOs across the nation.
ESCOs contract with private and public sector energy users to provide cost-effective energy efficiency retrofits across a wide spectrum of client facilities, from college campuses to water treatment plants. Effectively utilizing a performance-based contract business model, ESCOs have implemented more than $50 billion in comprehensive energy efficiency retrofit projects over the last three decades.