Taking Action on Climate Change Can Benefit Communities

Flickr CC - Seth Anderson

CNT’s affilate, Elevate Energy, is dedicated to smarter energy use for all. This is exactly why we support strong carbon pollution standards. Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, under President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, proposed a plan to cut carbon pollution from power plants. We support this important move to take action to confront climate change.

The introduction of these new standards also presents an opportunity to increase our investment in energy efficiency. In many cities, energy consumption in buildings accounts for two-thirds of greenhouse gas emissions. The problem is especially acute in parts of the Midwest, where older housing is more common. It takes power to run our existing buildings. If we reduce emissions from power plants and reduce the demand by making buildings more energy efficient, we all win.

In addition to a safer, healthier environment, a renewed focus on energy efficiency benefits our economy, our properties, and our communities:

Strengthen Our Local Economy

We’ve witnessed firsthand the economic benefits of energy efficiency. Making improvements to existing buildings creates jobs for local contractors, helps businesses and building owners cut operating costs, and puts money back in the pockets of local families. Listen to a contractor explain how investing in energy efficiency helped him hire new employees and purchase new equipment.

Preserve Affordable Housing

When we improve the energy efficiency of apartment buildings, we reduce operating costs, which helps building owners keep rents affordable. For example, local building owner Lou Sopcic was able to preserve nearly 100 units of affordable housing in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago thanks to energy efficiency improvements that cut his energy bills by a staggering 45 percent, reducing operating costs by $46,000 per year.

Build Stable, Thriving Communities

We also see additional positive consequences of energy efficiency improvements outside of saving energy. Tenants in improved buildings may see lower rents, reduced utility bills, more comfortable and cozier homes, and a healthier environment. We can connect low income communities with the resources they need to benefit from energy efficiency improvements.

Want to learn more? Consult these additional resources for further information on the new rule.

(Flickr photo by Seth Anderson)