Trump Administration Proposes Pulling Federal Funding To Energy Star Program

Mar 2, 2018

Most people recognize the Energy Star program as a sticker on the fridge indicating a lower utility bill thanks to its energy efficiency. In his FY19 budget, President Trump is calling for the end of the Federal Government’s $42 million in funding for the program that is run by the EPA. In its stead, the president proposes funding the program through fees charged to companies that use the energy certification, arguing that those who benefit from the program should be the ones to fund it.

The EPA explained in its budget request, “By administering the Energy Star Program through the collection of user fees, EPA would continue to provide a trusted resource for consumers and businesses who want to purchase products that save them money and help protect the environment…Entities participating in the program would pay a fee that would offset the costs for managing and administering the program.

The Energy Star program was started in 1992 by the EPA as a way to cut back on excess energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions. BY EPA’s estimates, since the program started Americans have saved $362 billion in energy costs. Unsurprising to most, Trump’s proposition to eliminate federal for Energy Star is being met with fervent backlash from groups both in and out of government. One of the many concerns about his plan is that privatizing the program could lower its status as a well-regarded, objective certification. Senator Tom Udall (D-NM), a member of the EPA funding panel expressed his displeasure with the proposal and EPA leadership overall, stating, “The Pruitt EPA appears determined to undermine the EPA in every way possible, so it’s not surprising that they took aim at the popular, bipartisan and consumer-friendly Energy Star program.” 

For more information on EPA’s 2019 budget proposal, visit: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2018-02/documents/fy-2019-epa-bib.pdf