Monday, 23 March 2009

Number 7) Energy innovation for housing

The need to reduce energy consumption has become critical, not just a result of climate change (although that certainly makes it more urgent) but also in terms of reducing the increased cost of living and making the best use of our limited supplies of fossil fuels.

In the US, 21% of all energy consumption is household consumption. Most of that comes from space and water heating, as well as cooking and lighting. Relatively simple and cost effective adjustments to homes, including insulation and sealant on windows can make a big difference in home energy consumption. Unfortunately, the people who can least afford the type of up front investment in energy efficiency are also the people who could most benefit from the cost savings that would result.

That's why the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Energy are working together to propose a fund to retrofit older homes. Not only will this money help to stimulate the economy by directly contributing to the growth of the green jobs sector that represents one of our most promising areas for economic growth, but it will help many underpriviledged people to cut their monthly expenses at a time when belts are tighening around the country.

And the long term benefits of cleaner, more efficient houses will pay environmental dividends for years to come, even if the families that initially benefit eventually move on. This is really a win-win-win scenario: economic stimulation, help to the needy and a cleaner environment.

Money well spent.

1 comment:

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