A blower door test is one of the many diagnostic features employed by our program to ensure the highest energy savings possible for those we serve.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

January Update

Shortly before Congress recessed for 2007, they passed two important pieces of legislation affecting the WAP. The first was the 2008 Omnibus Spending bill which provided the WAP with $227.4 million for 2008 - $21 million more than last year and $83 million more than the Administration requested. We are fortunate to have such bipartisan support in Congress for our Program and look forward to more of the same in 2009.

The second was the 2007 Energy Bill that reauthorized the WAP at significant higher levels for 2008 and beyond with the level reaching $1.4 billion in 2012. While authorization levels are not appropriations, these marks again signal overwhelming support for WAP in Congress.

There were two other amendments to the WAP authorization that we have told you about before. The first is the Renewable Energy Project that allows the Secretary to set aside up to 2% of the WAP funds when they exceed $275 million in any year the Department elects to fund this initiative (also referred to as the Rush (D-IL) Amendment). The language describing that project is part of Section 411 below.

The second is actually the creation of a new grant altogether - the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant. This project allows the Department to fund cities and other units of local government to perform a variety of allowable energy efficiency services. This grant will be designed and administered at the federal level but will have several areas of competition among local recipients. There is a section of the Block Grant to be administered by the states through a formula distribution. $2 billion is authorized for each year from 2008 through 2012. DOE will be required to promulgate rules within the next year to administer the Block Grant. According to the funding requirements, this Block Grant can be used to supplement current WAP and SEP activities but not supplant it.

Please check back for additional information regarding these new issues facing the WAP.

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