Supporting Energy Efficiency
Dow Corning Corporation, one of the world’s leading providers of
silicon-based materials that contribute to the energy efficiency of renewable
energy technologies, appliances and green buildings, supports supports
legislation designed to establish America as a leader in energy efficiency.
Short-Term Policies: Retrofitting Existing Buildings
The benefits of energy efficiency can be felt almost immediately by making
commercial and residential buildings more energy efficient through
weatherization efforts and energy efficient construction retrofits.
Federal funding in the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act injected the
decades-old federal Weatherization Assistance Program with $5 billion in
incentives for homeowners and contractors to install energy efficient home
insulation and heating equipment. Within the administration’s 2011 budget,
weatherization represents the largest request at $385 million, a 40 percent
increase over 2009.
Dow Corning supports federal weatherization programs and the creation of the
$300 million national Weatherization Assistant Grants Program, allowing
low-income families to complete residential weatherization retrofits.
Existing buildings are responsible for over 40 percent of the fossil fuel
consumed in the United States. The Department of Energy (DOE) has set a goal of
facilitating 1 million residential retrofits and 500,000 to 1 million
commercial retrofits per year by integrating advanced building technologies to
reduce overall energy consumption.
National programs that are under legislative consideration such as "Home
Star" and "Building Star" provide rebates and incentives for energy
efficient home and commercial retrofits. According to a March 2010 analysis of
the Building Star program by the American Council for an Energy Efficient
Economy, the Home Star and Building Star programs would begin creating jobs
almost immediately, and each is projected to create as many as 150,000 jobs in
some of the economy’s hardest hit sectors including construction,
manufacturing, and distribution over the next two years.
Dow Corning supports energy efficiency retrofit programs and legislation,
including state energy programs, designed to support innovative energy projects
that meet the unique energy needs of consumers in each state.
Appliances have an impact on business and personal lives every day, yet they
use large amounts of energy, with older appliances using more than those being
made today. Dow Corning supports programs that encourage the replacement of
aging appliances such as DOE’s “dollars for dishwashers” program, which has
distributed $300 million of federal stimulus money to states providing consumer
rebates for purchase of energy-efficient appliances, should be continued and
expanded, as they have an immediate impact on saving energy and costs.
Long Term Policies: Building Codes and Appliance Standards
A 2009 Booz Allen Hamilton study calculated that between 2009 and 2013, the
overall green construction market is expected to generate $6 billion in energy
Implementing long term policies, such as upgrading the nation’s building
codes and appliance standards, will help to ensure the country’s future energy
and environmental goals are met. Strengthening energy codes increases the
likelihood of energy and cost savings in new construction and renovations to
existing buildings. New buildings can be designed to be both more comfortable
and more efficient, cutting heating and cooling costs by close to 50
DOE works with several national organizations of professional code-users in its
Building Energy Codes Program (BECP) to develop energy codes that are
universally accepted by users, implemented through education programs, and
provide financial and technical assistance to help states adopt, implement, and
Dow Corning supports the work of the BECP and the construction industry as a
whole as it continues to partner with federal agencies, national code
organizations, and state and local officials to improve energy efficiency by
encouraging the use of new and sustainable building technologies and
establishing more stringent and unambiguous building energy codes.
DOE has accelerated the pace for finalizing new appliance standards and has
placed new resources and emphasis behind the enforcement of these important
standards. Since 2009, DOE has issued new efficiency standards for more than 20
different products such as dishwashers, incandescent lamps and residential
washing machines, which will save consumers between $250 and $300 billion on
their energy bills through 2030.
Dow Corning believes standards should continue to be established in concert
with industry, to ensure the research, design, and manufacturing of highly
efficient appliances are continually ramped up, and in turn, jobs are created
in the manufacturing and operational industries.