ACTIVE LEGISLATION: District Energy & Combined Heat & Power Incentives



You can make a big difference by calling or writing your Senators and Representatives to encourage their support on these bills.


The Local Energy Supply and Resiliency Act (LESRA) of 2015. 

  • Local Energy Supply and Resiliency Act: A Bill to require the Secretary of Energy to establish a distributed energy loan program and technical assistance and grant program, and for other purposes.

Thermal energy and combined heat and power are essential, but often overlooked, components of our nation's near- and long-term energy policy. Thirty-six percent of the total energy consumed in the U.S. is lost from power plants, industrial facilities, and other buildings in the form of waste heat, the majority of it from power plants. This represents an enormous opportunity to reduce wasted energy and lost dollars through renewable thermal energy sources, combined heat and power (CHP), or other energy-efficient technologies. Sen. Franken's bill will help states, tribes, communities, industry, and universities tap the energy resources in their backyards - renewable energy sources as well as waste heat. By tapping local energy sources we can: reduce fossil fuel consumption; enhance energy supply resiliency, reliability and security; reduce air pollution and emissions of greenhouse gases; and retain more energy dollars in local economies. LESRA would establish a direct loan program for financing these investments, and provide cost-shared funding for technical assistance for feasibility studies and engineering.

  • Technical Assistance Program. The bill establishes a grant program to provide technical assistance for identifying, evaluating, planning and designing distributed energy systems. This program helps for-profit and nonprofit entities identify opportunities, assess feasibility, overcome barriers to project implementation, conduct financial assessments, and perform the required engineering. Authorized appropriations: $250 million over 5 years.
  • Loan Program. The bill establishes a loan program, which will help states, tribes, utilities, and universities deploy projects that recover or produce useful thermal energy from waste heat or renewable thermal energy sources, generate electricity locally, distribute electricity in microgrids, distribute thermal energy, or transfer thermal energy to building heating and cooling systems. These investments will strengthen the reliability of the local energy supplies and boost resiliency of energy infrastructure, as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions and maximize job creation.

Archive of Policy & Legislative Assets


Van Ness Feldman closely monitors congressional and executive branch developments on climate change and energy policy, and is in a strong position to provide expert analysis and advice on emerging legislation and regulatory activity, the surrounding policy and political debate, and the implications for your organization.  If you would like more information about climate change and energy being considered in Congress or related regulations being considered by federal agencies, please contact Kyle Danish, Stephen Fotis, or any member of the firm's Climate Change practice at (202) 298-1800.  Those interested in on-going coverage of climate change policy developments may wish to subscribe to the weekly Climate Change Policy Update at http://www.vnf.com/KnowledgeCenter.aspx?SignUp=True .

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