Republican Rep. Cory Gardner has joined with Vermont’s Rep. Peter Welch, a Democrat, to form a bipartisan caucus in Congress that will work to ensure energy efficiency in federal buildings.
“The goal of our caucus is going to be pushing for policies that reduce energy costs, cut pollution, and create jobs,” Gardner, R-Yuma, and Welch said in a joint statement.
“There is nearly 3 billion square feet of building space that is owned and operated by the federal government, and by making government buildings more energy efficient we can save taxpayer dollars and give a boost the construction and energy sectors of our economy,” the lawmakers said.
The newly formed Energy Savings Performance Caucus has 10 members.
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It was inspired, the lawmakers said, from Gardner and Welch’s collaboration on several amendments promoting the use of Energy Savings Performance Contracts, deals in which a private company makes energy efficiency improvements to a building and is paid a share of the savings from lower utility bills.
Gardner and Welch believe the government has been slow to act on these contracts and hope the new caucus can speed things up by getting the executive branch departments to evaluate their facilities and identify potential savings.