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Energy Efficiency Proposals Could Create 333,000 Jobs in 2010
The proposed programs include residential and commercial retrofit programs and an energy-efficient manufacturing grant program. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment will be holding hearings on these issues this week.
“The energy efficiency programs in these proposals would create jobs because energy efficiency improvements are labor intensive and net job creators. These programs would produce more construction and service-sector jobs than those energy sector jobs lost from reduced energy consumption,” says Steven Nadel, ACEEE executive director.
Most of the products used in building retrofits (such as insulation and windows) are manufactured in the U.S. In addition, construction jobs involved in the projects cannot be outsourced and would provide vital local jobs in communities across the country.
These provisions would represent good investments in three important sectors of the U.S. economy as they focus on improving productivity; creating jobs; and leveraging government, consumer, and business funds, according to ACEEE.
Commercial retrofits include the “Building Star” program introduced in legislation last week by Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Mark Pryor (D-AR). This program, estimated to create 130,000 jobs in 2010 and then 57,000 jobs in 2011, would offer businesses rebates for up to 30 percent of the cost of improvements to lighting, insulation, and energy management for commercial buildings.
Another proposal would provide $4 billion in grants to manufacturers for investments in energy efficiency and clean energy product manufacturing projects, according to ACEEE. This proposal would provide additional funding to a $156 million Department of Energy grant program that was initiated by ARRA stimulus legislation. ACEEE estimates that the additional grant funding would create 77,000 jobs in 2010 and then 91,000 jobs in 2011 from funding the existing, unfunded applications and from a solicitation for a second round of proposals.
The "Home Star" program, also known as “Cash for Caulkers,” would provide rebates for energy efficiency improvements to homeowners. ACEEE estimates that this program would create about 126,000 jobs in 2010 and then 36,000 jobs in 2011, improving up to 3 million homes at a cost of $6 billion dollars.