02.25.21

Peters Reintroduces Legislation to Ensure Public Buildings Utilize Energy Efficient Lighting

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, reintroduced a bipartisan bill that would help save taxpayer dollars by directing the General Services Administration (GSA) to install the most life-cycle cost effective and energy efficient lighting in public buildings. The bill previously passed through Committee during the 116th Congress.

“Utilizing the most energy efficient lighting systems in public buildings could save taxpayers in Michigan and across the nation millions of dollars in the long run,” said Senator Peters. “I am proud to introduce this legislation and will continue my bipartisan efforts to make our federal buildings more energy efficient, and ensure that taxpayer dollars are being used effectively as possible.”

“Investing in energy efficiency helps reduce our energy usage, which means less pollution in our air and lower costs,” said Nick Occhpinti, government affairs director for the Michigan League of Conservation Voters. “The BRIGHT Act is commonsense legislation to save money and reduce energy usage. We thank Sens. Peters and Johnson for their leadership on moving us toward cleaner, more efficient energy use.”

“The path to halt climate change’s devastating toll requires tough decisions, vigilance and diligence, but Sen. Peters’ BRIGHT Act is a bright spot; it’s simple and cost-effective,” said Conan Smith, President and CEO of Michigan Environmental Council. “Not only will it limit fossil fuel use as we transition to a clean energy future, it puts the taxpayer dollars those fossil fuels burn through to better use. As our nation, states like Michigan and cities like Ann Arbor set bold carbon neutrality goals, the BRIGHT Act serves as a guiding light.”

Currently, there is no legal guidance in the federal government to maximize long-term cost and energy savings across lighting products. The bipartisan Bulb Replacement Improving Government with High-Efficiency Technology (BRIGHT) Act requires the GSA Administrator to ensure that public buildings are using the most life-cycle cost effective and energy efficient technology to the extent practicable when performing normal maintenance, altering or constructing public buildings. The bill also requires GSA to issue guidance to federal agencies, and state, local and Tribal entities to further streamline efficiency and effectiveness across government. GSA previously released a series of reports that calculated that switching to LED lightbulbs would result in millions of dollars in cost-savings due to their superior lifespan and energy efficiency.

As top Democrat on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Peters has led several efforts to ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent effectively and efficiently. A law written by Peters, the MEGAByte Act, has saved taxpayers more than $450 million since 2016. Peters’ bipartisan bill to save taxpayer dollars by updating policies to help federal agencies adopt electric vehicles, which are more energy efficient than traditional gas-powered vehicles was also signed into law last year. 

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