The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization, applauds Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Penn.) and Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fl.) for reintroducing the NonProfit Energy Efficiency Act.
The bipartisan bill, spearheaded by the Orthodox Union Advocacy Center and a coalition of nonprofit groups, will establish a new pilot program that provides federal grants through the Department of Energy (DoE) that will help nonprofits ranging from religious schools and houses of worship to hospitals and museums make energy efficiency improvements to their buildings.
These upgrades will reduce operating costs, decrease impact on the environment and create jobs. The program will be authorized to spend $10 million over the next five years. Under the act, the DoE would provide grants of up to $200,000 to implement energy efficiency programs.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), non-residential buildings in the U.S. consume more than $200 billion in energy. Among nonprofits in the United States, there are approximately 370,000 houses of worship; collectively, they spend more than $3 billion on energy annually. The EPA estimates that by making energy efficiency improvements, these congregations could cut their energy costs by one-third and give them almost $1 billion to spend on programs and services.
Nathan Diament, executive director for public policy for the Orthodox Union, said:
“The NonProfit Energy Efficiency Act is very important for the faith-based and nonprofit community. This legislation will enable our synagogues and non-public schools, along with YMCAs, libraries, museums and others to put more of their resources into programs to help those they serve, and less into energy expenses. The Orthodox Union is deeply appreciative of Senators Klobuchar and Hoeven, and Representatives Cartwright and Curbelo for their strong support of this legislation.”
Orthodox Union President Mark Bane said:
“This bipartisan legislation is an important step forward for all nonprofits. It is yet another example of how OU Advocacy works creatively and proactively to address our community’s needs.”