House approves Luria amendment mandating study of DOD energy savings

Elaine LuriaCongresswoman Elaine Luria (VA-02) today announced the House of Representatives approved her amendment as part of the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which would compel the Secretary of Defense to conduct a study on how the Department of Defense (DoD) can enter into more energy savings performance contracts (ESPCs).

“Energy savings performance contracts have the potential to strengthen our military readiness, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and save taxpayer money on energy bills,” Congresswoman Luria said. “We should take advantage of the chance to make our military installations more resilient through lowered energy needs and more reliable sources of power.”

The success of Congresswoman Luria’s amendment comes on the heels of her recent tour of Hampton Roads with House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis Chair Kathy Castor (FL-14). Congresswoman Luria is a co-chair of the New Democrat Coalition Climate Change Task Force.

Congresswoman Luria’s amendment would direct the DoD to conduct a study to determine how it could utilize more ESPCs. An ESPC is when a federal agency contracts with a private energy service company to have them install energy efficiency upgrades. The upfront costs are entirely financed by the private energy service company. DoD would then back the cost of installation through savings on utilities while pocketing the rest of the savings indefinitely.

ESPCs improve military readiness by making installations more resilient through lower energy needs and more reliable sources of power. According to an Energy Service Coalition study, ESPCs created nearly 8,300 job years and saved over 100,000 metric tons of carbon emissions in Virginia. A recent GAO study found that most ESPCs meet or exceed cost savings projections.

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