Last October, the Middle Class Task Force and the Council on Environmental Quality released a report called “Recovery Through Retrofit”(pdf). “Retrofitting” is a fancy word for making your house more energy efficient and more comfortable – everything from putting in a new water heater to sealing up cracks and openings where air can leak into and out of a home.
Our report identified some of the biggest barriers to building a strong, sustainable home energy retrofit industry. And it laid out an action plan to overcome them by making retrofits more affordable, giving homeowners straightforward information about the benefits of energy efficient upgrades, and building a well-trained workforce to get the job done.
For the last several months, we’ve been working hard to implement the recommendations in our report. Yesterday, the Vice President made an announcement that builds on the work we’ve been doing. He announced that 25 communities across the country have been selected for “Retrofit Ramp-Up” awards through the Recovery Act. This program will create thousands of jobs and allow these communities to retrofit hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses while testing out innovative strategies that can be adopted all over the country.
Growing the retrofit industry is a priority of the Task Force because it will create jobs, cut energy use and help families save money. As the Vice President said yesterday, it’s a “triple win.” So we hope you’ll take some time to learn more about Retrofit Ramp-Up. And if you missed our Task Force report the first time around, please check it out (pdf).
Happy Earth Day from the Middle Class Task Force!
Brian Levine is the Deputy Domestic Policy Advisor to the Vice President.