Tricounty News

Senators Collins and Klobuchar Introduce Energy Assistance Act



 

Legislation would help families and small businesses improve energy efficiency

 

Washington, D.C. - In a bipartisan effort to help Americans overcome the challenge of our dependence on foreign oil and restore and strengthen our nation's economy, U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) today introduced the "Energy Assistance Fund Act."   This legislation, introduced on Earth Day, would assist people who want to invest in energy conservation and alternative energy technologies and help set the nation on a path toward energy independence by providing additional loan authority to support current federal programs that help families and small businesses finance energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements.

 

"As I visit communities around the state of Maine, I hear time and again that the fluctuating costs of energy create hardship for many of our citizens.  Unpredictable, and often increasing, prices for home heating oil, gasoline and diesel fuel are a huge burden for many families, truckers, and small businesses.  Our legislation would assist people who want to invest in energy conservation and alternative energy technologies and help set us on a path toward energy independence," said Senator Collins.

 

"People all across Minnesota have dealt with volatile energy prices, from last summer's rise in gas prices to heating homes in the winter.  We need make it easier for families and small businesses to harness new technology to improve energy efficiency and put our country on a path to energy independence, while leaving more money in consumers' pockets," said Senator Klobuchar.  "While we need a comprehensive, long-term energy policy, these programs will help families and small businesses make that critical first step of investing in homegrown energy."

 

Specifically, the legislation would:

• Provide new loan authority through a new energy assistance revolving loan fund within the Treasury Department. 

• Provide that individuals who make less than 115 percent of the national average median income would be able to apply for low-interest loans to cover the difference between the tax credits available for energy efficiency improvements and up to 90 percent of the cost of those improvements. 

• Allow the federal agencies can make these loans through their lender networks.