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The Jobs Plan Should Emphasize Energy Efficiency

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Henry Craver's picture
Small Business Owner , Self-employed

As a small business owner, I'm always trying to find ways to cut costs and boost the dependability of my services. To that end, I've become increasingly invested in learning about energy saving...

  • Member since 2018
  • 839 items added with 395,562 views
  • Apr 13, 2021

The American Jobs Plan, the name of President Joe Biden’s ambitious infrastructure proposal, is the talk of the town these days. As it stands, the commander and chief is requesting $2.3 trillion of federal cash to be invested over the next eight years in a number of sectors. The idea of the big splurge is to modernize the country while creating jobs and spurring economic development. The proposed investments break down like this: $650 billion in ‘infrastructure at home’, $621 billion in transportation infrastructure, $580 billion in research and development and workforce development and manufacturing, and $400 billion in the caretaking economy.

Although the category names don’t tell us much, news about the plan and the administration’s consistent emphasis on combating climate change leads me to believe this bill could be a boon for energy efficiency. Energy efficiency in America is low-hanging fruit as far as I’m concerned. The technology exists now and it can easily be implemented with a simple infusion of cash. For example, smart thermostats, smart meters, and EE retrofitting are all straightforward measures that promise results. Just throw cash at them. 

Legislators would be wise to focus on easily accomplishable and effective initiatives. However, that doesn’t mean they will. There is already way too much bi-partisian enthusiasm for rebuilding roads and bridges, and many commentators are making noise for even more emphasis on the issue. Journalist Matt Yglesis made a convincing argument against such infrastructure investments in a well researched article last week. Let's hope rationality wins out—it would be good for EE and good for the country. 

Mark Silverstone's picture
Mark Silverstone on Apr 22, 2021

I believe so:

Title III –Efficiency•Sets new energy efficiency targets and standards for buildings and provides funding for schools, homes, nonprofits, and critical infrastructure to improve efficiency, deploy energy-efficient technologies, and improve resilience.•Authorizes grants to local communities to improve energy efficiency, including $500 million for workforce training and $8 billion in rebates for home retrofits.•Boosts funding for popular and proven energy efficiency programs, providing nearly $17.5 billion for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program.•NEW Establishes a benchmarking program to track commercial and multifamily building energy and water use to advance efforts to reduce energy and water consumption and GHG emissions at these buildings.•NEW Reauthorizes the State Energy-Efficient Appliance Rebate Program and expands eligibility to cover replacement ofappliances that will be powered by electricity.•NEW Provides funding for projects related to resiliency, energy efficiency, renewable energy, and grid integration at public facilities.•NEW Establishes a program to provide rebates to homeowners to defray the costs of retrofitting an existing home to be wildfire-resistant.•NEW Amends the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975 to add a section on state energy security plans.•NEW Establishes a training and education program to support home energy savings retrofits.•NEW Establishes annual targets for federal facilities to improve energy and water use efficiency under the Federal Energy Management Program.

Henry Craver's picture
Thank Henry for the Post!
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