PAYS is Mentioned at White House Roundtable on Accelerating Building Decarbonization
Day one of this year’s Department of Energy Better Building Summit 2021 included the White House Roundtable on Accelerating Building Decarbonization with Government and Industry featuring Gina McCarthy, National Climate Advisor, Brenda Mallory, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, Jennifer Granholm, Secretary of Energy, Michael Regan, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and Katy Kale, Acting Administrator of the General Services Administration.
Thanks to fellow PAYS Pal, Taylor Jantz-Sell of the EPA, for providing the plenary video link and the transcription of EPA Administrator Regan’s closing remarks that feature the following unprecedented announcement seen in minute 24 of the video:
“I’ll conclude with a new program that I am particularly excited about. EPA is developing a new ENERGY STAR program offering to accelerate energy efficiency and electrification retrofits in existing homes. The ENERGY STAR Home Upgrade will focus on measures that offer the greatest potential to reduce residential fossil fuel use and deliver significant energy savings.This effort will serve as a platform for the vast network of ENERGY STAR partners to leverage to quickly scale up effective programs.This package is exciting both for what it can deliver, and for whom it can deliver it to. A key focus of this effort will be underserved households that suffer the greatest from high energy bills. We are working on accelerating emerging models of success at expanding the scale of efficiency deployment in underserved and overburdened communities, such as BlocPower and inclusive utility investment approaches with robust consumer protections like the Pay As You Save® (PAYS®) model. Everyone deserves to be part of climate solutions: to access the benefits of safe, healthy, efficient, non-polluting homes, powered by clean energy, with access to clean transportation.”
The importance of this announcement cannot be overstated. The linking of inclusive utility investment to the new flagship ENERGY STAR Home Upgrade campaign will launch it onto a platform with unparalleled reach and recognition, for example:
More than 90% of American households recognize the ENERGY STAR.
More than 840 utilities, state and local governments, and nonprofits leverage ENERGY STAR in their efficiency programs, reaching roughly 97% of households in all 50 states. Since its inception, ENERGY STAR and its partners helped American families and businesses save 5 trillion kilowatt-hours of electricity, avoid more than $450 billion in energy costs, and achieve 4 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas reductions.
In 2019 alone, ENERGY STAR and its partners helped Americans save nearly 500 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity and avoid $39 billion in energy costs. These savings resulted in emissions reductions of nearly 390 million metric tons of greenhouse gases, roughly equivalent to 5% of U.S. total greenhouse gas emissions. [Source: EPA]
ENERGY STAR has been a catalyst for major market transformations in the past including the introduction of front loading clothes washers, high efficiency light bulbs, and commercial building benchmarking to name just a few. EPA’s commitment to leverage its network of utilities, manufacturers, home builders, and other partners to help accelerate inclusive utility investment such as PAYS could rapidly accelerate state and utility adoption.
As the first public endorsement of inclusive utility investment by a senior federal government official and acknowledgement of PAYS, this high profile announcement is a milestone for the entire PAYS community and a testament to your years of diligent work. We encourage you to share this development across your wider networks!