VP Joe Biden Unveils Home Energy Efficiency Program

By Jenny Schlesinger

Nov 9, 2010 3:45pm

ABC News' Mary Bruce reports:

The White House announced a new federal program today designed to help Americans make their homes more energy-efficient, which Vice President Joe Biden said it would save consumers money and create jobs. 

“We believe that retrofitting homes has the potential to save us billions of dollars. And we believe that these projects that we are announcing today will go a long way toward growing an industry and in the process create good jobs for a very good public purpose,” Biden said at a Middle Class Task Force event at the White House this afternoon, noting that the new initiative could create tens of thousands of jobs. 

The Recovery Through Retrofit program will enable homeowners to get low-cost energy audits of their homes and federally insured loans to pay for improvements. 

“Look, folks, investing in this stuff is the only way to build an economy capable of not just competing in the 21st century, but actually leading, as we have in the past,” Biden explained. “Making our homes more energy efficient, a major part of this, is a no-brainer.  It saves consumers money on their electricity, reduces our dependence on foreign oil, it creates jobs.  It's all part of efforts to fundamentally reimagine the American economy by fundamentally changing our approach to energy consumption.” 

Biden also said that retrofitting homes is “one of the quickest jolts” to move the country toward energy independence. “It is the low-hanging fruit out there. It doesn't require many significant technological breakthroughs to have gigantic impact on our consumption patterns,” Biden said. 

Under the new program, homeowners will receive a “Home Energy Score” that ranks their home’s efficiency on a scale of one to ten and shows how it compares to others in the neighborhood. Trained and certified contractors will then estimate how much money a homeowner could potentially save through upgrades and will recommend improvements. 

To pay for retrofitting, consumers will be eligible for up to $25,000 in low-interest, federally insured “PowerSaver” loans. The program also sets new guidelines for contractors that identify the skills needed for workers in the retrofit industry. 

Several communities across the country are testing the new energy scoring system this fall before it's rolled out nationally next summer. 

“I don't want to oversell this, but this is a significant start,” Biden concluded

The White House announced a new federal program today designed to help Americans make their homes more energy efficient, which Vice President Joe Biden said will save consumers money and create jobs. 

“We believe that retrofitting homes has the potential to save us billions of dollars. And we believe that these projects that we are announcing today will go a long way toward growing an industry and in the process creating good jobs for a very good public purpose,” Biden said at a Middle Class Task Force event at the White House this afternoon, noting that the new initiative could create tens of thousands of jobs. 

The “Recovery Through Retrofit” program will enable homeowners to get low-cost energy audits of their homes and federally insured loans to pay for improvements.  

“Look, folks, investing in this stuff is the only way to build an economy capable of not just competing in the 21st century, but actually leading, as we have in the past,” Biden explained. “Making our homes more energy efficient, a major part of this, is a no-brainer.  It saves consumers money on their electricity, reduces our dependence on foreign oil, it creates jobs.  It's all part of efforts to fundamentally re-imagine the American economy by fundamentally changing our approach to energy consumption.” 

Biden also said that retrofitting homes is “one of the quickest jolts” to move the country toward energy independence. “It is the low-hanging fruit out there. It doesn't require many significant technological breakthroughs to have gigantic impact on our consumption patterns,” Biden said. 

Under the new program, homeowners will receive a “Home Energy Score” that ranks their home’s efficiency on a scale of one to 10 and shows how it compares with others in the neighborhood. Trained and certified contractors will then estimate how much money a homeowner could potentially save through upgrades and recommends improvements. 

To pay for retrofitting, consumers will be eligible for up to $25,000 in low-interest, federally insured PowerSaver loans. The program also sets new guidelines for contractors that identify the skills needed for workers in the retrofit industry. 

Several communities across the country are testing the new energy scoring system this fall before it's rolled out nationally next summer. 

“I don't want to oversell this, but this is a significant start,” Biden said.

-Mary Bruce

You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus