WASHINGTON, DC-As the US Senate and House struggle to marry their differing economic recovery bills, proper funding of energy efficiency programs shouldn’t be lost, says the Alliance to Save Energy (ASE).

The Alliance–a non-profit coalition of business, government, environmental and consumer leaders that promotes energy efficiency–is “encouraged” by the passage of the Senate bill, which allocates $30 billion to energy efficiency, according to a statement. “The Senate bill would pump substantial Federal dollars into energy efficiency programs that return many times their original level of investment to taxpayers in the form of energy savings and new jobs, not to mention important environmental benefits,” says Alliance President Kateri Callahan.

Though the Senate bill offered more for energy efficiency research and development, the House bill overall was better, ASE says. The House version allocated $50 billion for energy programs, including: $6.2 billion for the Weatherization Assistance Program, versus the Senate’s $2.9 billion; $3.4 billion for the State Energy Program; versus the Senate’s $500 million; $300 million in Energy Star appliance rebates; $500 million for waste energy recovery incentive grants; and $100 million for grants and loans for combined-heat-and-power and waste-heat-recovery technologies, missing in the Senate bill.

The Alliance also has called for funding missing in both bills, including $100 million to enlarge the EPA Energy Star program. “So while there is much to like in the Senate-passed economic recovery bill, we look to the conference committee to resolve important differences with the House on energy efficiency provisions,” Callahan says in the press release.

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