H.R. 5541 would reauthorize and expand programs sponsored by the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Indian Energy. Under the bill, DOE would provide grants and technical assistance to Native American tribes, intertribal organizations, and tribal energy development organizations for energy efficiency programs, electric infrastructure projects, and other related activities. The bill would authorize the appropriation of $30 million annually from 2021 through 2025 for those purposes.
In addition, H.R. 5541 would require DOE to study the electricity access and reliability of households residing in tribal communities or on Native American land.
In 2020, the Congress appropriated $22 million for the Office of Indian Energy. Because CBO estimates the budgetary effects under continuing resolutions on an annualized basis, in 2021 CBO assumes that the same amount will be available under the current continuing resolution (Public Law 116-159). As a result, CBO estimates that the bill would authorize an increase in spending subject to appropriation in 2021 of $8 million, the difference between the authorized amount and the annualized amount provided under the continuing resolution.
Based on historical spending patterns for similar activities, and assuming appropriation of the authorized amounts, CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 5541 would cost $79 million over the 2021-2025 period and $49 million after 2025. The costs of the legislation (detailed in Table 1) fall within budget function 270 (energy).