USA Green Solutions
INTEGRATING RETROFIT SOLUTIONS FOR COMMERCIAL MARKETS
Energy Conservation “Recovery Through Retrofit”
Energy Efficient Retrofit Improvements for Commercial Buildings
Our mission is improving the energy performance of existing commercial buildings which is essential for reaching the USA national goals for energy efficiency, peak electricity demand, and carbon footprint reduction. Surveys brought together by USA Green Solutions Organization and its likeminded individuals.
When the Whitehouse addressed residential owners in the Executive Summary titled “Recovery Through Retrofit” in October 2009. This was the first step to securing and extending homeowners the federal stimulus tax credits of 30%. This report focused on making American homes and buildings more energy efficient presents an unprecedented opportunity for communities throughout the country.
Studying this report, The USA Green Solutions energy survey would be the first step to meeting federal goals in overall Reduction. Often overlooked, we would target the middle class businesses, small to medium box style buildings, which have the most to gain. Overall our mission is to introduce to these businesses an energy survey report showing them just how much energy is used and only adding to their bottom line as wasted expense.
The Whitehouse understands this and without replacing existing energy consumers, Retro-Fitting is the best investment. Thinking Green - Reducing Emissions & Carbon Footprint.
Recovery Through Retrofit
MIDDLE CLASS TASK FORCE COUNCIL ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ............................................................................... 1
INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................ 5
A STRATEGIC PLAN FOR RECOVERY THROUGH RETROFIT ................. 5
IMPLEMENTATION ...................................................................................... 12
CONCLUSION .............................................................................................. 12
Making American homes and buildings more energy efficient presents an unprecedented opportunity for communities throughout the country. The Recovery Through Retrofit Report builds on investments made in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) to expand the home energy efficiency and retrofit market. Home retrofits can potentially help people earn money, as home retrofit workers, while also helping them save money, by lowering their utility bills. By encouraging nationwide weatherization of homes, workers of all skill levels will be trained, engaged, and will participate in ramping up a national home retrofit market.
There are almost 130 million homes in this country. Combined, they generate more than 20 percent of our nation's carbon dioxide emissions, making them a significant contributor to global climate change. Existing techniques and technologies in energy efficiency retrofitting can reduce home energy use by up to 40 percent per home and lower associated greenhouse gas emissions by up to 160 million metric tons annually by the year 2020. Furthermore, home energy efficiency retrofits have the potential to reduce home energy bills by $21 billion annually, paying for themselves over time.
By implementing Recovery Through Retrofit’s recommendations, the Federal Government will lay the groundwork for a self-sustaining home energy efficiency retrofit industry. This Report provides a roadmap of how the Federal Government can use existing authorities and funds to unlock private capital and mobilize our communities.
Barriers to a National Retrofit Market
Despite the economic and environmental benefits of improving home energy efficiency, a series of barriers have prevented a self-sustaining retrofit market from forming, including:
1. Access to Information: Consumers do not have access to straightforward and reliable information on home energy retrofits that they need to make informed decisions.
2. Access to Financing: Homeowners face high upfront costs and many are concerned that they will be prevented from recouping the value of their investment if they choose to sell their home. The upfront costs of home retrofit projects are often beyond the average homeowner’s budget.
3. Access to Skilled Workers: There are currently not enough skilled workers and green entrepreneurs to expand weatherization and efficiency retrofit programs on a national scale.
The Recovery Act provides a unique opportunity to address these barriers. The Recovery Act allocates about $80 billion to projects related to energy and the environment, and much of this money is targeted toward improving the energy efficiency in buildings, both Federal and non-Federal. Under the Recovery Act, state and local governments have an unprecedented opportunity to expand investments in energy retrofits and develop community-based programs on a large scale. These investments will put our country on a path to real reductions in greenhouse gases, and contribute to the economic recovery our country needs. The recommendations and actions in this Report have been carefully designed by eleven Departments and Agencies and six White House Offices to ensure that the energy efficiency market will thrive long after the Recovery Act money is fully spent.
By coordinating Recovery Act funds, Federal Departments and Agencies and resources; through building strong partnerships with states and local communities; and by targeting government policy changes, a foundation for self-sustaining energy efficiency retrofit market will be built. Through implementation of the Recovery Through Retrofit recommendations, the Federal Government will leverage private capital, streamline the retrofitting process, and reduce energy costs for homeowners.
Provide American Homeowners with Straightforward and Reliable Home Energy Retrofit Information
Develop Energy Performance Label for Homes
We propose to do for homes what ENERGY STAR® has done for appliances, helping consumers identify energy efficient products. New homes can already earn the ENERGY STAR® label – but no such label is available for existing homes. The Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency are working together to develop an energy performance label for these homes. The end result will be an easily recognizable benchmark that energy auditors, retrofitters, lenders, realtors, and consumers can use to compare home energy performance and identify the most energy efficient homes.
Develop a National Home Energy Performance Measure
Before we can develop an energy performance label for existing homes, we must establish a standardized home energy performance measure applicable to every home in America. This measure will make it much easier for consumers to understand how much they can save by retrofitting their home. It will also give lenders the information they need to work with homeowners who are looking to invest in home energy improvements.
Reduce High Upfront Costs and Make it Easy for Homeowners to Borrow Money for Home Energy Retrofits
Support Municipal Energy Financing
Property tax or municipal energy financing allows the costs of retrofits to be added to a homeowner’s property tax bill, with monthly payments generally lower than utility bill savings. This arrangement attaches the costs of the energy retrofit to the property, not the individual, eliminating uncertainty about
recovering the cost of the improvements if the property is sold. Federal Departments and Agencies will work in partnership with state and local governments to establish standardized underwriting criteria and safeguards to protect consumers and minimize financial risks to the homeowners and mortgage lenders. The Department of Energy will support model financing programs to provide much needed upfront capital utilizing Recovery Act funding provided for the Department’s Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grant and State Energy Programs.
Improve Energy Efficient Mortgages
Expanding the use of Energy Efficient Mortgages will simplify the process of obtaining and financing energy retrofits at a home’s point of sale. This effort will also work to lower the cost of home energy audits as well as the monthly financing payments, and ensure that retrofits are accurately valued in the appraisal process. Federal Departments and Agencies will work collaboratively to: advance a standard home energy performance measure and more uniform underwriting procedures; develop procedures for more accurate home energy appraisals; and streamline the energy audit process.
Expand State Revolving Loan Funds
Expanding state revolving loan funds from 16 states to all 50 states will leverage private capital and achieve economies of scale necessary to produce consistent and affordable loan products. This will allow consumers to borrow money for home energy retrofits from private firms at lower interest rates. In addition to funding new programs through the Recovery Act, the Federal Government will work to provide examples of successful revolving loan programs and technical assistance to states without revolving loan programs in order to encourage their adoption.
Mobilize a Well-Trained National Energy Retrofit Workforce and Expand Good, Green Job Opportunities for All American Workers
Establish National Workforce Certifications and Training Standards
A uniform set of national standards to qualify energy efficiency and retrofit workers and industry training providers will establish the foundation of consumer confidence that work will be completed correctly and produce the expected energy savings and benefits. Consistent high-level national standards will spur the utilization of qualified training providers that offer career-track programs for people of all skill levels, promote and expand green jobs opportunities, and facilitate the mobilization of a national home retrofit workforce. Federal Departments and Agencies (including the Department of Labor, the Department of Energy, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Environmental Protection Agency) will work in collaboration to assess existing standards and training programs and develop consistent models, guides, and best practices for training and certification. The Department of Education, the Department of Commerce, and the Small Business Administration will assist in implementing the best practices developed by the other Departments and Agencies.
These recommendations do not involve spending large new sums of Federal dollars in our fiscally-constrained environment. Rather, they focus on removing information barriers, transaction costs,
liquidity constraints, and other market failures that often prevent homeowners from making investments that have both private and social benefits.
To ensure that the recommendations in this Report are implemented, CEQ will convene an interagency Energy Retrofit Working Group, which will be chaired by the Department of Energy, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Labor, and the Environmental Protection Agency. In addition to implementing the recommendations and proposed actions of this Recovery Through Retrofit effort, the Working Group will track its progress and operate as the single point of contact for the successful implementation of this effort. Within thirty days, the Working Group will submit an implementation plan to the Vice President. Additional strategies will also be developed to expand the retrofit market to rental housing. Moreover, the Working Group will report to the Vice President regularly on its progress towards implementing each of the recommendations identified in this Report.
On Tuesday, May 26, 2009, at a Middle Class Task Force meeting, Vice President Biden charged the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) with developing a proposal for Federal action that will grow green job opportunities and boost energy savings by retrofitting homes for energy efficiency. In response to this charge, CEQ has facilitated an interagency process with the Office of the Vice President to develop this Report—involving eleven Departments and Agencies and six White House Offices. This Report contains a set of recommendations for specific Federal actions, which address the market and non-market barriers that have prevented the home retrofit market from achieving national-scale. The following Departments and Agencies contributed to this Report and participated in drafting the recommendations:
. Office of the Vice President
. Department of Agriculture
. Department of Commerce
. Department of Education
. Department of Energy
. Department of Housing and Urban Development
. Department of Labor
. Department of Treasury
. Environmental Protection Agency
. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
. General Services Administration
. Small Business Administration
. Executive Office of the President
. Council of Economic Advisers
. Domestic Policy Council
. National Economic Council
. Office of Management and Budget
. Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs
. Office of Science and Technology Policy
To read this report in full - please visit: Whitehouse.gov - Recovery-Through-Retrofit-Final-Report