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|11, 2010 Volume 2, Issue 7|
The Weatherization PLUS Newsletter
Economic Opportunity Studies, Inc. | www.weatherizationplus.org
Future Green Jobs
VP Biden Announces Next Steps for Recovery Through Retrofit
EOS staff attended Vice President Biden’s November 9 announcement of the next steps in the Recovery Through Retrofit strategy of the Administration Middle-Income Task Force. (Watch the video or read the report.)The VP and Secretaries Chu, Solis and Donovan together outlined three dramatic policy initiatives designed to lower the three major barriers to consumer purchases of whole-house energy retrofits: access to reliable energy information, accessible affordable financing, and consumer confidence in the retrofit workforce.
If successful, these will change the low private demand for whole-house energy retrofit and thereby change the future job prospects for the ARRA workers Weatherization has trained.
1. A New Home Energy Scorecard will offer clear and reliable home energy information. It is intended as a prototype for a home rating label like an appliance efficiency label that will be accepted by the housing market and influence home prices. It will be required for the financing initiative described below. The label uses results from the true MAJOR innovation: an online auditing tool that is an update of the LBNL audit in use by EPA Home Performance with Energy Star. See the tool at http://homeenergyscore.lbl.gov/. The project will be tested in ten areas. The Home Energy Scorecard will be available next summer to organizations wanting to test-drive the product.
2. HUD’s New FHA Power Saver Loan Program will offer easy access to affordable home retrofit financing without requiring a second mortgage or high-cost unsecured loan. (See a PDF on Power Saver.) The loan product will be test-piloted for two years beginning in early 2011, and it can be offered by many types of lenders.
It includes FHA mortgage insurance covering 90% of loan and low interest financing for credit-worthy homeowners. The loan must be invested in energy improvements indicated by the Home Energy Scorecard tool and delivered by trained contractors.
3. New Work Guidelines and Protocols for the Energy Retrofit Workforce are a familiar topic to Weatherizers by now. The work undertaken by the DOE staff with W.A.P. trainers and others leading the home performance field will become an (informal) industry standard. The initiative:
Weatherization’s experts should read the materials with care and offer input to the federal policy development. Which of the proposals in these documents would make good W.A.P. work regulations? Please copy EOS (email@example.com) with your input.
Comments on DOE’s "Workforce Guidelines for Home Energy Upgrades" due by 01/11/2011.
Comments on EPA’s "Healthy Indoor Environment Protocols for Home Energy Upgrades" due by 12/09/2010.
DOE Weatherization Leaders Suggest What to Expect Next
At the National Community Action Foundation (NCAF) Energy Programs Conference October 25-27, Robert Adams, the W.A.P. Team Leader for the Office of Weatherization and Intergovernmental Programs (OWIP) spoke to a packed audience about emerging W.A.P. developments. His most important points for everyone on the front lines of delivery:
Ms. LeAnn Oliver, the newly appointed permanent OWIP Director, spoke at the conference, her first event with W.A.P. network organizations, and expressed her enthusiasm at taking the reins of the program at this moment of well-deserved celebration. For Ms. Oliver’s bio, click here.
The Newsletter of Economic Opportunity Studies’ Weatherization PLUS Leveraging Partnership Project brings timely information about developments that expand the Weatherization Assistance Program to help your organization take advantage of emerging opportunities. Visit the Weatherization PLUS portal for more information.
Why You Are Receiving This Email
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In This Issue:
» Recovery Through Retrofit: Next Steps
Our Project Staff:
Disclaimer: "This report was prepared as an account of work sponsored by an agency of the United States Government. Neither the United States Government nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government or any agency thereof. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government or any agency thereof."