Broad Coalition Urges Swift House Vote on Efficiency Bill

(ARLINGTON, Va.) — The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) joined more than 50 organizations and companies in calling on the U.S. House of Representatives to pass S. 535, the “Energy Efficient Improvement Act of 2015,” when Congress returns after the recess. This long-awaited bill, which passed unanimously in the Senate, is critical to more than 250 co-ops that use large-capacity electric resistance water heaters (ERWH) for demand-response programs. Collectively, the co-op programs can reduce demand by an estimated 500 megawatts saving consumers hundreds of millions of dollars.

“The diversity of stakeholders signing this letter indicates broad support for this common sense efficiency measure. Electric co-ops have long advocated for this legislation because they believe its pragmatic, proven approach to efficiency will both help reduce demand for expensive peak energy and harness power generated from renewable sources,” said NRECA CEO Jo Ann Emerson. “We urge the House, which passed this bill for the first time more than a year ago, to do so again without delay.”

Electric co-ops urge the House to act quickly on this bill. On April 16 new Department of Energy standards go into effect, banning the manufacture of these large-capacity ERWH. The Senate passed this bill unanimously on March 27, 2015.

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is the national service organization that represents the nation’s more than 900 private, not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric cooperatives, which provide service to 42 million people in 47 states.