In celebration of Earth Day the White House promised $452 Million in eco-retrofits for homes in 25 communities across the US as part of the all-new “Retrofit Ramp Up” program. Vice President Joe Biden announced the effort as the first part of his 5 days of Earth Day tour. He expects program to “ramp up” energy efficiency in US homes, create green collar jobs, and save Americans millions in utility bills. As part of the program homeowners are eligible for up front rebates of up to $3,000 for their eco-efforts.
The program is part of the Recovery Act’s game-changing $80 billion investment in clean energy. In his announcement of the plan yesterday Vice President Biden explained that the bill was about helping individuals: “what we’re really talking about here is simple. It’s about making our homes and our office buildings more efficient and more comfortable and more affordable, replacing windows and doors.” He emphasized the importance of changing the small stuff to create big savings for everyone.
There are over 100 million homes in the US, and retrofitting all of them would save the country a combined $21 billion a year in energy savings. Though the White House has offered tax incentives for retrofits, they realize that it’s difficult to find the skilled workers to install new features correctly, to access energy audits and to pay for the cost of the retrofits. The current investment of $452 million is seed money to help communities to convince entire neighborhoods to retrofit their homes. If a contractor retrofits just one home on the block it would be pretty pricey, if they retrofit all the homes on the block the cost goes down. That money is passed on to the customers, making energy savings more accessible for everyone.
Via USA Today