It has been called a game changer for the Philadelphia region, but the Appropriations Committee of the U.S. Senate wants to terminate the Energy Efficient Buildings (EEB) Hub at Philadelphia's Navy Yard.
Citing "poor management and failure to meet technical milestones," Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) called for the EEB Hub to be axed from the 2014 budget.
In its report, the Senate committee slammed the Hub — claiming "no measurable benefit" from the $55 million invested to date:
The Hub was more focused on the economic development of the Philadelphia area rather than developing a national program to improve the energy efficiency of commercial and residential buildings across the United States.
Read the full section dealing with the EEB Hub in the document viewer here:
EEB Hub Director Paul Hallacher says that's not the case.
"We have indeed met our milestones," Hallacher said. "But more importantly we accomplished important achievements that are actually having an impact on building energy efficiency."
Hallacher, who is based at Penn State, says he has already reached out to Senate staff to address the committee's concerns.
Read the brief that EEB Hub sent to the Senate yesterday in the document viewer here:
Hallacher says he's optimistic the roughly $25 million in federal funding will ultimately come through. Still, he says getting zeroed out for the forthcoming fiscal year would be "a very serious blow."
"We could not continue the work of the Hub without the support of the Department of Energy," Hallacher said.
Federal funding accounts for about 90 percent of the Hub's budget, he added.
State and city officials have often touted the role of the two-and-a-half-year-old EEB Hub in fueling a renaissance at Philadelphia's Navy Yard. In late April, the Hub broke ground on a new "living laboratory" for energy-saving technologies.