Sep 16, 2021
BPA Webinar Provides Key Policy Updates
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Package and Budget Reconciliation Package both offer resources for contractors, including training and incentives. BPA is encouraging industry members to get involved and support energy efficiency funding for critical policies like the Weatherization Assistance Program and HOPE for HOMES.
By: Macie Melendez
In a webinar today, Kara Saul Rinaldi, BPA’s Vice President of Government Affairs, Policy, and Programs, shared the current state of Bipartisan Infrastructure Legislation, Budget Reconciliation, and FY22 Appropriations – and the difference between these funding bills.
Here are the key appropriations included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Package:
All of the numbers you see here are in addition to the money that these programs already have. The bipartisan bill has passed the Senate but needs to pass the House to move forward.
The Budget Reconciliation Package is a little different than the Bipartisan Infrastructure Package. In total, it is a $3.5 trillion bill, but it has a lot in it not related to energy. Specific to our industry, this package includes the HOPE for HOMES bill, which includes $8.4 billion in rebates and $500 million for training. This 10-year bill would require the US Department of Energy to set up guidelines and state energy offices to propose programs that meet their state’s needs.
This package needs 50 votes to pass the Senate, which could also happen as soon as this fall.
What’s In It For Contractors?
One question that was asked during the webinar was how different these bills would affect Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) contractors versus non-WAP contractors. The answer was this: WAP is included in all the bills and therefore WAP contractors can expect more resources as a whole. However, both contractors working within WAP and those working to serve market-rate customers can expect plenty of resources when it comes to training and incentives should the Budget Reconciliation bill pass as envisioned by the House. For example, the HOPE for HOMES bill is for any qualified contractor. Additionally, contractors that meet program requirements and work with low-income households will have additional funding and resources.
You may be wondering what you can do to get involved and make sure these bills pass the Senate. There are quite a few things, actually. Today, you can go to the BPA website and sign our coalition letter to Congressional leadership in support of energy efficiency funding for critical policies like WAP and HOPE for HOMES in the final package. You can do that here. You can also join BPA.
In the coming weeks, you can sign up for BPA lobby days and attend member webinars.
While today’s webinar was free and open to the public, future related webinars will be member-only. If you’re interested, be sure to sign up to receive policy and advocacy news via email.
If you are a BPA member, you can access today’s presentation slides in the member-only library here.