Press Release

Welch and Van Hollen Send Letter to Department of Energy Urging Swift and Effective Implementation of Energy Efficiency Programs 

Feb 22, 2023

Sens. Welch and Van Hollen were lead sponsors of the HOPE for HOMES Act, a program included in the Inflation Reduction Act and designed to enhance home energy efficiency, slash carbon emissions, and cut energy costs for Americans 

WASHINGTON – Senator Peter Welch (D-VT) and Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) today sent a letter to Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Jennifer Granholm, calling on DOE to publish guidelines to expand consumer access to energy use data as it implements two key energy efficiency programs, the HOMES Rebate Program and the Smart Grid Program. The HOMES Rebate Program, which passed as part of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), was based on Sens. Welch’s and Van Hollen’s HOPE for HOMES Act, critical legislation to help families make their homes more energy efficient, save money on utility bills, and cut carbon emissions. Both programs rely on the expansion of consumer access to energy use data. 

“Insufficient access to energy data has hindered the success of efficiency programs for decades,” the letter read. “Despite significant federal investment in smart grid technology deployment, energy remains one of the last outstanding areas of commerce where consumers consistently do not know how much a good will cost before purchasing it. Past federal investments in consumer energy data access and portability have fallen short of their goals. We must chart a more successful path forward on energy data access.” 

In their letter, Sens. Welch and Van Hollen urge DOE to issue data sharing guidelines as soon as possible and warn that, without adequate consumer access to energy data, implementation of the HOMES Rebate Program and Smart Grid Programs may not meet their goals. Effective implementation of HOMES, in particular, is critical to ensuring that the IRA meets its landmark goals, described by the Biden Administration as helping to “reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 50-52 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.” 

To read the full text of the letter, please click here. For more information on energy efficiency and clean energy in the Inflation Reduction Act, please click here.