Vice President Joe Biden recently unveiled a home energy efficient program designed to help the environment and the economy. The three-step program, called Recovery Through Retrofit, will bring a software program to contractors to show potential clients how much money they can save by implementing energy efficient improvements. The software will also show a guideline to the contractors to make sure the work is done correctly to instill public confidence in the sustainable home projects. This will help families get “the tools they need to invest in home energy upgrades. Together, these programs will grow the home retrofit industry and help middle-class families save money and energy,” Biden said in a press conference held at the White House.
The software, The Home Energy Score Program, will show homeowners and contractors a scale from 1 to 10 that compares energy efficiency of their home compared to homes in the surrounding area and also in the same climate. It will also show how an individual family could save money annually by implementing energy efficient upgrades using a data of recommended improvements. According to a information sheet by the White House, most home owners do not have access to such information which can cause reluctance by the owners to invest in such projects. With such information available in a simple and trustworthy way, the government hopes homeowners will utilize such services which will help improve the environment by sustainable measure and also improve economy by creating more jobs.
The second step of the program which help make the energy efficiency upgrades affordable is the PowerSaver loan program. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will administer the two year pilot program which offers low-rate loans to home owners which can be paid off in a period up to twenty years. “PowerSaver will help more homeowners afford common sense, cost saving improvements to their homes, and will create jobs for contractors, installers and energy auditors across the country,” said Shaun Donovan, the secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
The third part of the program will identify the skills and the expertise needed for such energy efficient program and upgrades. According to a report by the White House, there isn’t enough skilled workers or green entrepreneurs to make this happen which is surprising seeing how trendy “green” has become. The White House did not reveal how much is being budgeted for this project and just how much new jobs it will create. However, a program such as this is a step in the right direction for both the environment and the economy.
Source: McClatchy Washington Bureau
Image credit: Garreth & MaryJ via Flickr under CCL