Press Release

Sens. Welch and Van Hollen Introduce Bill to Help Homeowners Make Energy Efficiency, Clean Energy Upgrades

Jun 13, 2023

WASHINGTON—Senators Peter Welch (D-VT) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) today introduced the E-Access Act, legislation to facilitate the clean energy transition by helping consumers access their utility data and share that data with third parties. Families and businesses rely on home energy usage data to make decisions about energy efficiency and clean energy upgrades—but that data is difficult to access, making it harder for consumers to reduce their energy consumption, switch to new energy sources, and take advantage of Inflation Reduction Act and Infrastructure, Investment, and Jobs Act programs to facilitate those upgrades.   

“We’ve made tremendous progress to advance energy efficiency and clean energy through the Inflation Reduction Act and Infrastructure, Investment, and Jobs Act—but we can do more to help every family benefit from these historic investments,” said Sen. Welch. “The E-Access Act will help consumers access critical data on their home energy use, giving them the tools they need to understand their energy consumption and make changes at home to improve efficiency, lower their energy bills, and help fight climate change. I’m proud to join Sen. Van Hollen to introduce this critical legislation.”  

“Our HOPE for HOMES provisions enacted in the Inflation Reduction Act will make it easier for Americans to lower their energy bills through home energy efficiency upgrades. But right now it’s hard for homeowners to see exactly how much they can save if they make the switch. By making energy data more accessible, the E-Access Act will help consumers see the money-saving potential of making their homes more energy efficient – which in turn will generate more good-paying jobs and move our nation forward in the fight against the climate crisis,” said Sen. Van Hollen. 

Provisions of the E-Access Act were included in the Inflation Reduction Act through the HOPE for HOMES program, but without enforcement mechanisms.  This bill would strengthen the HOPE for HOMES program, requiring the Department of Energy to establish utility data sharing guidelines and requiring states to create their own rules based off the federal guidelines. The data sharing rules would allow consumers to access and share their utility data with third parties, including energy efficiency contractors. 

The legislation is supported by Efficiency Vermont, Mission:data Coalition, Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI), Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP), California Efficiency + Demand Management Council, U.S. Green Building Council, Northeast Energy Efficiency and Electrification Council (NEEEC), Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA), and the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT). 

To read the full text of the E-Access Act, please click here.