A report from the front
Mark Spurr, IDEA Legislative Director
projected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by over 300 million tons and save over
3 quadrillion Btu by 2040, while making a
$1.25 billion net contribution to the U.S.
Treasury – helping reduce the U.S. budget
deficit. This calculation does not take into
account the economic stimulus impact of
the program, which is now being analyzed.
IDEA’s progress on this legislation is a
testament to the efforts of the many IDEA
members who participated in signing on
to support letters and/or contacting their
legislators directly via fax or in person.
Many thanks to all of you! You truly have
made a difference.
Concerns about climate change,
energy costs and energy security
have unleashed more than 1,000
energy-related bills on Capitol Hill – opening shots in what will be a long war to
align energy and environmental policy
with sustainability. IDEA has won important victories and experienced setbacks as
well. Here is a report from the front.
In late July, the U.S. House Energy and
Commerce Committee released legislation
that was expected to be considered by
the full House of Representatives in early
August. H.R. 3221 (“New Direction for
Energy Independence, National Security
and Consumer Protection Act”) includes
two provisions of importance to the district energy industry. (See www.districtener-gy. org/leg/ leg_action_center.htm for more
information and to download the legislation.)
Act of 2007
Part 6 of Title IX in H.R. 3221 was proposed by the IDEA. This provision establishes
a revolving loan program for investments
in ( 1) production of energy from combined
heat and power or renewable energy sources
and ( 2) distribution of thermal energy to
users. This funding will be available to
universities, colleges, hospitals, airports,
municipalities, public school districts, federal
agencies and other entities established to
meet public purposes.
Funds would be loaned at an interest
rate equal to the federal cost of funds less
1. 5 percent (about 3. 2 percent at current
rates) for terms up to 20 years. Payments
can be deferred for three years, if desired
by the borrower. Until the year 2018, loan
payments would be ‘recycled’ to provide
funding assistance to other institutions.
Starting in 2018, loan payments would go
directly into the U.S. Treasury.
The Sustainable Energy
Institutional Infrastructure Act
is projected to reduce carbon
dioxide emissions by over 300
million tons and save over 3
quadrillion Btu by 2040, while
making a $1.25 billion net con-
tribution to the U.S. Treasury –
helping reduce the U.S.
The Sustainable Energy Institutional
Infrastructure Act, which authorizes $2.3
billion in appropriations over five years, is
Part 5 of Title IX in H.R. 3221 encourages ‘recycling’ of waste heat to provide
useful thermal or electrical energy. Key
● Establishment of a waste-energy inventory
by the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency and state energy offices to survey
and register major combustion sources
for quantity and quality of waste heat.
● Creation of a Waste-Energy Recovery
Incentive Grant Program to provide
incentive payments of $10 per MWh of
electricity or $2.93 per MMBtu of thermal
energy produced from waste-energy
recovery projects. This grant program is
authorized $900 million in appropriations over five years.
● For sales of excess power, states may
require long-term contracts from utilities,
retail wheeling or the construction of
● The Combined Heat and Power Application
Centers are renamed Clean Energy
Application Centers and are authorized
$50 million in appropriations over five
years to encourage deployment of clean
energy technologies through education
and outreach to building and industrial
CHP Investment Tax Credit
In April, Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., and
12 bipartisan cosponsors introduced H.R.
2001, Industrial Cogeneration Act of 2007.
This bill would modify Section 48 of the
Internal Revenue Code to provide a 10
percent investment tax credit for qualified
cogeneration or CHP systems with a generating capacity up to 50 MW. In contrast