The Ripon Advance: Kinzinger introduces bill to promote combined heat, power technologies

Bipartisan legislation introduced by U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) would redesignate and reauthorize U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) programs that advance the deployment of combined heat and power, or CHP, technologies.

The CHP Support Act, H.R. 6949, which Rep. Kinzinger sponsored on Sept. 27, would amend the Energy Policy and Conservation Act and reauthorize funding at $12 million for fiscal years 2018 through 2022 for the Clean Energy Application Centers of the DOE, which would be redesignated as the CHP Technical Assistance Partnership Program (CHP TAP). H.R. 6949 is the companion bill to the same-named S. 2142, introduced on Nov. 16, 2017 by U.S. Sen. Angus King (I-ME).

“I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation with my colleagues to reaffirm our commitment to the CHP TAPs and encourage greater use of these technologies that bring economic and environmental benefits to America’s energy and innovation in our technologies,” Rep. Kinzinger said on Oct. 5.

The CHP TAP promotes the use of energy-efficient technologies that generate electricity and secure what would be wasted heat to provide thermal energy, according to a statement from Rep. Kinzinger’s office.

“Energy independence is critically important to our national security, and in order to reach our goal, we must have diverse sources of energy and the proper infrastructures to deliver safe, reliable, and clean resources,” the congressman said.

If enacted, H.R. 6949 would support the DOE program’s existing 10 regional CHP Technical Assistance Partnerships and any additional regional partnerships that would be authorized by DOE, according to the text of the bill.

Additionally, under the CHP TAP, education and outreach programs would be offered to myriad stakeholders – including state and local policymakers, as well as building, industrial and electric and natural gas utility professionals – that would promote deployment of CHP technologies, according to the bill’s text.

If enacted, H.R. 6949 also would make funds available for research, development and distribution of informational materials on CHP and microgrid technologies. Funds for the CHP TAP would be made available for a five-year period under the bill.

“Investing in energy efficiency saves money, creates jobs, and improves the environment,” said U.S. Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT), an original cosponsor of H.R. 6949. “This bipartisan legislation will save Vermonters money on energy bills, reduce harmful carbon emissions, and increase the economic competitiveness of our forest products industry.”

H.R. 6949 also is supported by the Alliance for Industrial Efficiency, the Alliance to Save Energy, the American Chemistry Council, and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.

The organizations collectively sent an Oct. 5 letter to leaders on the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, which is reviewing the bill, urging them to schedule “a hearing to shine a spotlight on this valuable program.”

“The TAPs and supporting activities at DOE have long received bipartisan support and continued funding since 2001,” according to the groups’ letter. “Unfortunately, the underlying authorization for this program was inadvertently allowed to expire in 2012.”

By proposing to reauthorize the CHP TAP, according to their letter, H.R. 6949 would “encourage the use of technologies that reduce energy use, save consumers money, increase economic competitiveness, enhance electric reliability, and reduce emissions at the nation’s hospitals, universities, and manufacturing sites,” all of which they consider to be national priorities.

H.R. 6949 is also under consideration by the U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. S. 2142 is being reviewed by the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.



The original article can be found on The Ripon Advance website here.