The Secretary shall undertake a national demonstration program designed to test the feasibility and effectiveness of various forms of financial assistance for encouraging the installation or implementation of approved energy conservation measures and approved renewable-resource energy measures in existing dwelling units. The Secretary shall carry out such demonstration program with a view toward recommending a national program or programs designed to reduce significantly the consumption of energy in existing dwelling units.
The Secretary is authorized to make financial assistance available pursuant to this section in the form of grants, low-interest-rate loans, interest subsidies, loan guarantees, and such other forms of assistance as the Secretary deems appropriate to carry out the purposes of this section. Assistance may be made available to both owners of dwelling units and tenants occupying such units.
The Secretary may condition the availability of financial assistance with respect to the installation and implementation of any renewable-resource energy measure on such measure’s meeting performance standards for reliability and efficiency and such certification procedures as the Secretary may, in consultation with the Administrator, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and other appropriate Federal agencies, prescribe for the purpose of protecting consumers.
In carrying out the demonstration program required by this section, the Secretary is authorized to delegate responsibilities to, or to contract with, other Federal agencies or with such State or local instrumentalities or other public or private bodies as the Secretary may deem desirable. Such demonstration program shall be coordinated, to the extent practicable, with the State energy conservation plans as described in, and implemented pursuant to, part C of title III of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act [42 U.S.C. 6321 et seq.].
The Secretary shall submit an interim report to the Congress not later than 6 months after August 14, 1976, (and every 6 months thereafter until the final report is made under this subsection) indicating the progress made in carrying out the demonstration program required by this section and shall submit a final report to the Congress, containing findings and legislative recommendations, not later than 2 years after August 14, 1976. As part of each report made under this subsection, the Secretary shall include an evaluation, based on the criteria described in subsection (h), of each demonstration project conducted under this section.
Prior to undertaking any demonstration project under this section, the Secretary shall specify and report to the Congress the criteria by which the Secretary will evaluate the effectiveness of the project and the results to be sought.
There is authorized to be appropriated, for purposes of this section, not to exceed $200,000,000. Any amount appropriated pursuant to this subsection shall remain available until expended.