White House Unveils “Recovery Through Retrofits”

Recovery_Through_RetrofitYesterday CNT Energy Director, Anne Evens, was at the White House for Vice President Joe Biden’s press conference on expanding a program to retrofit homes.  CNT Energy wrote about this exciting step toward using energy more efficiently, at the Power Smart Pricing blog.

The goal of the “Recovery Through Retrofit” plan is to expand home energy retrofit programs and energy efficiency. The report sites the barriers that have prevented the field from expanding and reaching more of the 130 million homes in the United State that could use a boost in efficiency. The key to the new initiative is to overcome these barriers to help homeowners make cost effective investments in their homes.

A common reason many people do not make the investments is the initial cost. One proposed solution is to take the cost of the home energy improvements and incorporate them into property taxes each month. Turning the payments into a monthly obligation would allow for a scenario where the monthly energy cost savings would be offset the change in property taxes.

Additionally, the report covers a collaboration between the Department of Labor, the Department of Energy, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Environmental Protection Agency to establish national workforce certifications and training standards. The goal would be to expand the home energy retrofit workforce and to build a foundation of strong consumer confidence.

This is great step towards expanding the cost effective solutions that can help alleviate the strain that energy bills place on so many families. The real challenge will be catalyzing consumer action in making a smart investment in their home. The proposed changes should initiate job creation in a field that needs a rapid expansion in both quality assurance and opportunity to homeowners.

To learn more read the report and executive summary here.

Here is a link to additional commentary from The New York Times.