By Derek Newberry, Advocacy Fellow
In less than two weeks, over 100 Massachusetts organizations, including a number of architectural firms, construction companies, universities, and energy efficiency and renewable energy organizations have signed on to the US Green Building Council's letter to protect the EPA's ENERGY STAR, WaterSense, and Safer Choice programs from losing funding. In opposition to the recently proposed budget, MA companies have demonstrated their commitment and support for smart and proven public programs that have vastly improved US consumer safety, expanded energy efficiency, and reduced trillions of gallons of unnecessary water use. While companies from around the country continue to back the initiative, MA has established itself as a leader in sustainability and environmentally conscious development.
Among their many benefits, ENERGY STAR, WaterSense, and Safer Choice have saved consumers, businesses, and state and local governments hundreds of billions in costs while providing effective technical assistance and research data for economic growth. ENERGY STAR has saved consumers over $430 billion in utility payments since its inception in 1992 and maintains an exceptional brand awareness of almost 90%. Cutting these programs will not only increase consumer’s energy bills and prevent an effective and sustainable energy transition into the future, but it will also eliminate or endanger tens of thousands of jobs around the country (and the world).
These programs have become international standards of excellence and demonstrate the ability for government programs to work effectively with the market to produce change. The EPA's ENERGY STAR, WaterSense, and Safer Choice programs have proven themselves as economically, environmentally, and socially indispensable and cannot be allowed to disappear or lose funding. Please take a moment to sign the USGBC’s letter to demonstrate your organization’s support for these essential programs. Please send your support to your representatives in congress if you are an individual and let them know how important these programs are to our health, our environment, and our future.