Senators Reintroduce Bipartisan Legislation to Prevent Delays in WAP & SEP Funding
January 23, 2019
(Washington, D.C.)– U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Susan Collins (R-ME), Chris Coons (D-DE), and Jack Reed (D-RI) have reintroduced the Investing in State Energy Act. The bipartisan legislation would prevent unnecessary delays in the distribution of funds to the State grantees of the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) and the State Energy Program (SEP).
“Moving Weatherization Assistance Program funding in a timely manner ensures that critical weatherization services reach the energy burdened, low-income families in need across our country,” said Jenae Bjelland, the Executive Director of the National Association for State Community Services Programs (NASCSP). “We greatly appreciate the bipartisan leadership of the Senators reintroducing the Investing in State Energy Act.”
If states do no not receive funds by their scheduled program year start date, the WAP workforce could experience layoffs and eligible families could face delays in receiving services. The Investing in State Energy Act would establish a mandatory deadline, directing the Department of Energy to distribute the full annual award amount of WAP and SEP funds to states, tribes and other direct grantees no later than 60 days after funds are appropriated by Congress.
The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) has served over 7.4 million families, reducing their energy burden while making their homes healthier and safer. An evaluation by Oak Ridge National Laboratory found that WAP returns over $4 in benefits for every dollar invested. The State Energy Program (SEP) provides grants directly to State Energy Offices to support energy projects, such as energy emergency planning and response, as well as infrastructure modernization through clean energy and energy efficiency.
NASCSP represents the administrators of the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) and Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) in all 50 states, DC, and five U.S. Territories. For more information visit www.nascsp.org
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