Deep Energy Star Cuts Are Part of House Budget Bill

Last Thursday, the House of Representatives passed an appropriations package that preserves the Energy Star program while slashing its budget for 2018. The collection of spending bills could wind up being part of the final federal budget for 2018.

The 2018 spending bill would fund Energy Star at $31 million. That’s 53 percent less than 2017’s funding level of $66 million.

“The committee continues to support the Energy Star program and does not terminate the program as proposed,” the House Appropriations Committee wrote in its report on the legislation, which cleared the committee in July. “However, program adjustments or reforms may be warranted.”

In March, President Trump’s budget proposal for 2018 called for Energy Star to be defunded and its functions possibly transferred to a non-governmental entity.

About 300 fenestration industry companies are listed as partners on the Energy Star website.

Kateri Callahan, president of the Alliance to Save Energy, criticized the bill’s passage.

“Let’s be clear: This would be a debilitating cut to one of the most popular federal programs in history,” she said in a statement. “Energy Star has been such a money-saver for consumers and businesses because the products deliver enormous energy savings, and we can trust the label. Now Congress is threatening the integrity of the program. Taking an ax to Energy Star would make it difficult if not impossible for the program to certify new energy-efficient products. This would not only hurt consumers but also the more than 16,000 companies and organizations that have invested valuable time and resources to make products that qualify for Energy Star.”

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