Energy Efficiency, GHG Emissions, Regulation - February 22, 2018
Trump proposes eliminating Energy Star funding
President Trump’s plan to eliminate federal funding for the EPA’s Energy Start program is facing strong opposition from groups representing manufacturers, retailers, utilities, environmentalists and others who benefit from the program.
According to a report in The Hill, these groups "cite, among other things, the estimated $30 billion in energy savings that users of Energy Star products achieve each year, arguing that it’s a hugely successful program that should be embraced."
The voluntary Energy Star program, supported by the DOE, sets efficiency benchmarks for appliances, electronics, building materials, lighting and other products, and lets companies use the Energy Star label on products that meet the specifications.
The Trump administration’s budget request to Congress for fiscal year 2019 includes the elimination of $42 million in federal funding for the program. The Hill reports that the request calls for allowing the EPA to fund the energy efficiency certification through fees charged to companies that use it, an idea promoted in conservative circles for years.
"Placing the burden solely on the manufacturers that use the label isn’t really fair," countered Kateri Callahan, president of the Alliance to Save Energy. "The ultimate beneficiaries of this are the consumers who are saving money," she said, adding, "And we’re all benefitting when we’re avoiding greenhouse gas emissions."
Among those supporting Trump’s proposal is Myron Ebell, director for energy and environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, who said, "The companies that benefit from Energy Star labeling should pay for the program.” He added, “The next step would be to privatize Energy Star. There are many similar successful programs funded by the affected industry that provide independent testing, monitoring, and labeling of products."