Earlier today, at the invitation of the House Democratic Caucus, representatives of the Demand Response and Smart Grid Coalition (DRSG) presented their views on smart grid development, job creation, and economic recovery to over 200 Members of the House at the body’s annual Issues Retreat.
“The Smart Grid is about jobs,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). “And the clean energy jobs of the future are created by smart grid companies every day. Investing in the smart grid means investing in every state in ways that provide local jobs and local benefits as well as supporting our economic recovery and our environmental goals.”
“We look to the smart grid for an innovative way to create jobs in the short term while laying a foundation for long-term economic growth,” said Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus John Larson (D-CT). “It was important to hear from the Demand Response and Smart Grid coalition and its cutting edge companies to get their perspective. It is clear that a part of maintaining US competitiveness includes supporting the smart grid.”
Senior Executives from DRSG member companies Whirlpool, Honeywell, Landis + Gyr, EnerNOC and Ice Energy represented DRSG, with each company giving an overview of their respective role in smart grid development and how they are adding jobs and contributing to economic recovery as a result of the new business opportunities being created by smart grid policy developments. The companies specifically addressed their involvement in projects to be funded by provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
“This was a great opportunity to be helpful to America’s lawmakers,” said Dan Delurey, DRSG President. “The emerging smart grid brings with it skilled jobs while advancing the security and reliability of our electric grid and reducing emissions and customer prices.”
The companies also took the opportunity to respond to the many questions from House members as to what steps could be taken now on Smart Grid that would also contribute to job creation and economic recovery. DRSG members discussed several steps that it believed should be taken and they will follow-up with members on issues including:
- Provide additional stimulus funds to DOE to allow additional smart grid grant applications to be funded from among existing applicants.
- Enact the existing provisions of H.R. 2454 (the American Clean Energy and Security Act, sponsored by Representatives Waxman and Markey) that would create smart grid peak reduction goals and also integrate smart grid into the Energy Star Program.
- Establish a temporary investment tax credit that would spur near-term smart grid business activity in the same way that tax policy has been used to support development in the renewable and efficiency areas.
“The House of Representatives has shown great support for smart grid development in EPACT 2005, EISA 2007, ARRA 2009 and now in Waxman-Markey. Those of us in the industry know that with a little bit more support right now, many more smart grid projects and developments can be unleashed,” said Delurey.
More information is available at www.drsgcoalition.org.
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