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Retrofitting 50 million buildings in the United States, about 40 percent of the building stock, by 2020 to make them energy efficient would create 625,000 permanent jobs, John Podesta, CEO of the Center for American Progress, told CNBC.
“There’s probably a $500 billion investment that’s needed, but the vast majority has to come from the private sector,” Podesta added. “The government has a role to play in orienting policy toward getting the financing right.”
It is a study based on a survey of organizations or companies whose existing buildings underwent a green retrofitting. Participants were asked what motivated them to consider the projects and what influenced their decisions. Findings concluded that while savings from energy efficiency was a top goal, as cited by 75 percent of respondents, corporate environmental commitment was the leading motive. Another 75 percent of respondents reported improvement in employee health. One hundred percent of respondents experienced an increase in goodwill/brand equity.
A Policy Framework for Investment in Energy Efficiency Retrofits
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.
Today, buildings account for 70 percent of all U.S. electricity consumption and 40 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Yet much of our housing and building stock is old, inefficient, and unnecessarily wasteful. While building codes and green building standards offer a tool for achieving deep improvements in energy use for new buildings, half of the buildings that will be standing in 30 years already dot our landscape. Any strategy to capture the benefits of energy efficiency in our “built environment” must include a program to retrofit our existing stock of residential, commercial and industrial structures.
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. Read the whole document at Center for American Progress
Recommended Green Career Resources:
SIX STRATEGIES TO FIND YOUR GREEN CAREER – This free ebook by Carol McClelland PhD is a step-by-step process helping green career seekers use their passions, interests, experience, and training to plug into the green economy.
THE COMPLETE GREEN JOB GUIDE 2009: SECRETS FOR GETTING THE JOB YOUR WANT – Discover How To Unlock The Booming Green Economy For Your Job Search And Future Financial Security with the 10 Breakthrough Steps You Need To Know To Find And Land A Green Job Quickly.
© 2009, Tracey de Morsella. All rights reserved. Do not republish.
Author: Tracey de Morsella (323 Articles)
Tracey de Morsella started her career working as an editor for US Technology Magazine. She used that experience to launch Delaware Valley Network, a publication for professionals in the Greater Philadelphia area. Years later, she used the contacts and resources she acquired to work in executive search specializing in technical and diversity recruitment. She has conducted recruitment training seminars for Wachovia Bank, the Department of Interior and the US Postal Service. During this time, she also created a diversity portal called The Multicultural Advantage and published the Diversity Recruitment Advertising Toolkit, a directory of recruiting resources for human resources professionals. Her career and recruitment articles have appeared in numerous publications and web portals including Woman Engineer Magazine, Monster.com, About.com Job Search Channel, Workplace Diversity Magazine, Society for Human Resource Management web site, NSBE Engineering Magazine, HR.com, and Human Resource Consultants Association Newsletter. Her work with technology professionals drew her to pursuing training and work in web development, which led to a stint at Merrill Lynch as an Intranet Manager. In March, she decided to combine her technical and career management expertise with her passion for the environment, and with her husband, launched The Green Economy Post, a blog providing green career information and covering the impact of the environment, sustainable building, cleantech and renewable energy on the US economy. Her sustainability articles have appeared on Industrial Maintenance & Plant Operation, Chem.Info,FastCompany and CleanTechies.