As ordered reported by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on May 26, 2005
"The legislation would authorize funding for several programs aimed at energy production, conservation, and research and development. It would authorize the use of energy savings performance contracts (ESPCs), make several changes to the regulatory framework governing the nation's electricity system, and establish a mandate for the use of renewable fuels."
Ban of Mercury Vapor Lamp Ballasts.
Section 135 would prohibit the manufacturing and importing of mercury vapor lamp ballasts after January 1, 2008. A ballast is an electrical device for starting and regulating fluorescent and certain other lamps. The mercury vapor lamp ballast has been decreasing in its share of the market for ballasts during the last 20 years. Moreover, according to industry contacts, few, if any mercury vapor lamp ballasts are imported into the United States. The majority of such ballasts are manufactured in the United States for domestic use. According to industry sources, mercury vapor lamp ballasts are now only manufactured for rural street lights and residential floodlights. Based on information provided by industry and government sources, the value of annual shipments of such ballasts amounts to about $15 million.The cost of the mandate, measured in lost net income to the industry, would be less than that amount. Energy Efficiency Resources Program. Section 141 would require ratemaking authorities for gas and electric utilities (including states, local municipalities, or co-ops) to either demonstrate that an energy efficiency resource program is in effect or to hold a public hearing regarding the benefits and feasibility of implementing an energy efficiency resources program for electric and gas utilities. CBO estimates no significant costs would result from this requirement. PREVIOUS CBO ESTIMATES Federal Budget Effects On April 19, 2005, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for H.R. 1640, the Energy Policy Act of 2005, as ordered reported by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on April 13, 2005. Like this legislation, H.R. 1640 would authorize appropriations for a wide array of energy-related activities. Differences between the estimates of spending subject to appropriation under this bill and H.R. 1640 reflect differences in authorization levels, particularly for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program and activities related to science and coastal impact assistance. Like H.R. 1640, this legislation would authorize FERC to establish an ERO to oversee the nation’s electricity transmission system. Both bills would authorize the new organization to collect and spend fees (which would be classified as revenues). However, H.R. 1640 would cap those fees at $50 million a year. This legislation contains no such cap; therefore, our estimates of direct spending and revenues related to the proposed ERO are higher than under H.R. 1640. CBO previously completed two cost estimates for bills that would permanently authorize the use of ESPCs: H.R. 1640 and H.R. 1533, the Federal Energy Management Improvement Act of 2005. CBO transmitted a cost estimate for H.R. 1533, as ordered reported by the House Committee on Government Reform, on April 13, 2005. Provisions of this legislation and H.R. 1533 related to ESPCs are similar; however, H.R. 1640 would cap total payments under ESPCs at $500 million a year. Therefore, our estimate of spending for ESPCs is lower under H.R. 1640 than under this bill or H.R. 1533. Also, this bill would authorize the use of ESPCs through 2016.
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