Congress created the Energy Conservation in Existing Buildings Act in 1976 in an effort to pursue the most cost-effective, environmentally sound means of reducing the nation’s dependency on imported energy, and to prevent future energy shortages in the United States. The Act was intended to encourage and facilitate major programs to implement energy conservation and alternative energy measures for existing residential and nonresidential buildings, as well as industrial facilities.
The Secretary is required to develop proposals for the improvement of electric utility rate design and transmit these proposals to Congress. Congress has also authorized the Secretary to fund electric utility rate demonstration projects, encourage installation of approved energy conservation measures, and make financial assistance available in various forms for owners or tenants of dwelling units. The act encourages states to develop an energy conservation plan to facilitate and implement these efforts in existing buildings with the aid of federal financial incentives and assistance.