Immediate Action Alert Update

Regarding a WaterSense-Certified Water Efficiency Retrofit Provision in Federal Legislation

2010-05-19

As reported earlier this month, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) was drafting a water efficiency retrofit rebate amendment to the Silver Star section of S. 3177, the Home Star Energy Retrofit Act of 2010.  The Home Star bill was introduced in the Senate on March 25, 2010 by Senator Jeff Bingaman (NM) and referred to the Senate Committee on Finance.  The House of Representatives passed their Home Star Energy Retrofit bill, H.R. 5019 on May 6, 2010.  The House bill provides incentives to consumers to make their homes more energy efficient and contains no incentives for water efficient products.

Senator Wyden's amendment to the Senate bill, Home Star Retrofit Rebate Program, S. 3177, has cleared the Senate Legislative Counsel--click here for a PDF(To be sure that you have the most current version of the amendment, please look to the alpha/numeric code at the upper left of the first page which should read END10538.)  Also linked is a one page overview of the amendment.

This amendment tracks the Energy and Natural Resources Committee staff working draft of a possible Chairman's mark and therefore doesn't exactly track the S.3177 as posted on the Committee's web site.  (A "chairman's mark" is a recommendation by the committee chair, in this case Senator Bingaman, of the measure to be considered in a "mark-up" where the proposed legislation is debated and amended.)

With less than two weeks remaining before the Senate's Memorial Day recess it remains unclear when the Home Star bill will be marked-up, but it is clear that AWE members should make their voices heard NOW.  Please contact your Senators and urge them to send a clear message of support for including the WYDEN AMENDMENT TO THE HOME STAR RETROFIT REBATE PROGRAM which adds WaterSense-certified products and services to the Home Star Energy Retrofit Act of 2010.  

Please be sure to refer to the amendment as the WYDEN AMENDMENT TO THE HOME STAR RETROFIT REBATE PROGRAM as there is no amendment number available at this time.  Additionally, it is our understanding at this time that while originally S. 3177 was referred to the Senate Committee on Finance, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources is expecting that they will eventually have jurisdiction over the legislation. 

Please copy Chairman Bingaman and Senator Wyden on all messages of support.  Also, it is especially important to reach out and educate the members of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee -- six of whom sit on the Finance Committee as well as the Energy and Natural Resources Committee (Senators Bingaman, Wyden, Cantwell, Menendez, Lincoln and Stabenow). 

This bill, with the WYDEN AMENDMENT, would represent an historic opportunity to improve both water and energy efficiency while stimulating job growth.  Thank you for supporting water efficiency!

Click here to read our initial Action Alert which includes links to a generic formal letter, an informal e-mail message, and key talking points to reference when contacting your Senator.  Also provided is a link to assist in finding your Senator's contact information.