Investments in building efficiency retrofits can simultaneously address the challenges of economic recovery, energy insecurity, and global warming by laying the foundation for sustained economic growth, driving demand in the construction and manufacturing sectors, and creating hundreds of thousands of good jobs across the country. Retrofitting our homes and businesses will also slash consumer energy expenditures, increase real estate values, and provide low-cost, near-term reductions in global warming pollution.
Deep building retrofits can cut energy use by 20 to 40 percent with proven techniques and off-the-shelf technologies. Best of all, they can pay for themselves from the energy they save. “Rebuilding America,” a national program to cut energy waste in buildings, could reduce energy bills economy-wide by hundreds of billions of dollars annually. Energy efficiency retrofits also create good local construction jobs across the country at a time when well over a million construction workers sit idle in a sagging housing market. Demand for the manufactured products needed to retrofit buildings will also result in jobs by revitalizing the manufacturing sector and contributing to sustainable, long-term economic growth.
“Rebuilding America” focuses on the challenge of dramatically increasing investment in residential and commercial building energy efficiency, with a goal of retrofitting 50 million buildings-40 percent of our building stock-by 2020. Reaching that goal will require $500 billion in public and private investment but will directly and indirectly generate approximately 625,000 sustained full-time jobs and save consumers $32 billion to $64 billion a year in energy costs, or $300 to $1,200 a year for individual families.
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