WASHINGTON - The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) reports that its review of the federal government’s fiscal year (FY) 2009 budget finds that funding for energy efficiency programs has been significantly reduced.
The total FY 2009 request for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is $1.255 billion, a 27 percent cut from the FY 2008 level of $1.722 billion.
“The President’s budget once again fails to propose bold responses to our nation’s critical energy priorities,” said Steven Nadel, executive director. “Congress should start with a clean slate on the 2009 budget if we are to make progress on high energy prices and global warming.”
The largest program cut comes from low-income weatherization funds, which are proposed to be zeroed out. “With the economic pain lower-income families are feeling, this cut is neither compassionate nor good economic policy,” said Nadel. “Investing in efficiency not only makes energy bills more affordable, it also creates good jobs that will help our economy recover.”
“This budget is running on empty when it comes to investing in efficiency as the first fuel in the race for energy security,” added Bill Prindle, policy director. “Reining in our energy use should be DOE’s first priority, but this budget does not reflect that.”