In a move that marks the first recommendation of President Bush’s national energy policy to be implemented since the plan was recently unveiled, Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham last Wednesday directed the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy to undertake a strategic review of its energy efficiency research and development programs.

The president’s energy policy recommended a review of current funding and historic performance of the R&D programs. Abraham will propose appropriate funding of those programs that are found to be performance-based and are modeled as public-private partnerships. Public input will be sought at the outset of the review and will complement a current National Academy of Sciences study that is expected to be released this summer. The review by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy will look at past performance and identify ideas for future public-private partnerships.

“This review will identify ways to improve the lives of Americans through energy efficiency while streamlining our programs and saving taxpayer dollars,” Abraham said. “I welcome the public’s input in this comprehensive review.” Abraham has set July 10 as the deadline for the initial phase of the review, with the final phase to be completed by Sept. 1.

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