500,000 Homes Weatherized in Next Year

**Our Next Free Energy Audit Webinar is Dec 18, 1pm CST

A tidal wave of energy audits and weatherization upgrades are coming! Get ready.

**Our Next IR Webinar is Jan 9-19, 2010

Obama Video: (plan to weatherize 1/2 million homes in next year)

Obama Says Energy Efficiency Upgrades Will Boost Jobs (tax cuts coming)**

Obama’s new plan to create jobs, save energy: Call it cash for caulkers?**

Reporting from Washington - Declaring that insulation is “sexy,” President Obama today pushed Congress to create a program giving homeowners cash incentives to improve their energy efficiency by replacing windows, caulking leaks and modernizing heaters and air conditioners.

He traveled to a Home Depot store in Alexandria, Va., to pitch a job-creation plan some have dubbed “cash for caulkers” – government incentives given directly to consumers to spur economic activity, similar to the popular “cash for clunkers” rebates that spurred a surge in auto sales last summer. Obama also held a roundtable at the store that included the chief executive of insulation-maker Owens Corning and a 23-year-old local contractor.

“I know the idea may not be very glamorous, although I get really excited about it. We were at the roundtable and somebody said, ‘Insulation’s not sexy.’ I disagree,” Obama told an audience that included Home Depot Chief Executive Frank Blake and workers from the Laborers’ International Union of North America. “Here’s what’s sexy about it: saving money.”

He said homes built in the first half of the 20th century use about 50% more energy than those built today. Much of the energy is wasted through leaky roofs and windows. Making homes more energy efficient not only will help the environment, but also will help homeowners save money and boost the economy.

“If you saw 20-dollar bills just sort of floating through the window up into the atmosphere, you’d try to figure out how you were going to keep that,” Obama said. "But that’s exactly what’s happening because of the lack of efficiency in our buildings.

“So what we want to do is create incentives that stimulate consumer spending, because folks buy materials from home-improvement stores like this one, which then buys them from manufacturers,” he said. “It spurs hiring because local contractors and construction workers do the installation. It saves consumers money, perhaps hundreds of dollars off their utility bills each year. And it reduces our energy consumption in the process.”

Such a program is among several “strategic surgical steps” Obama is pushing to help create jobs as the unemployment rate remains at 10% despite a return to economic growth after the deep recession. Obama sketched those ideas in a speech last week and added more detail to the “cash for caulkers” concept today.

Congress must create such a plan, as it did with “cash for clunkers.” Obama said that Owens Corning has seen an increase in exports of insulation to Australia after that country created a weatherization incentive program.

Obama joked that his trip to Home Depot would allow him to do some holiday shopping, such as “a few million energy-efficient light bulbs” for Energy Secretary Steven Chu and “something that will prevent leaks” for White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. But it was insulation that he focused on, saying incentives for consumers to buy it and other home weatherization material would be a “win-win” for the economy and the environment.

“We are going to generate so much business for you, Frank,” he told the Home Depot chief executive. "We are going to generate so much work for you guys, from LIUNA. We’re going to create . . . so many business opportunities for contractors here that over the course of the next several years, people are going to see this, I think, as an extraordinary opportunity, and it’s going to help America turn the corner when it comes to energy use.

“I’m excited about it. I hope you are, too,” Obama concluded. “See, I told you insulation is sexy.”


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Most of these homes will weatherized under ARRA funds. In Texas these funds go through the TDHCA and from there to non-profit sub-recipients (42 in Texas as of now). These sub-recipients either do the energy audit or hire an approved contractor to do them. Then they hire an approved contractor to weatherize the home. Then they conduct a final audit. All contractors must abide by Davis-Bacon, have all its employees lead safe trained, have a certfied lead renovator on staff (and available to be onsite) and numerous other requirements. I only know this because I teach the basic Weatherization and Advanced Weatherization Courses for the state that are recommended for all auditers and contractors who want to take part in the ARRA weatherization program.

Our state has county inspectors do the audits and approved contractors do the insulation. The auditors are part time employees and are trained by the county. Funds come from here.

Don’t waste your breath, many of us have tried to tell him how this works.

We teach students a free introduction class to energy audits. Each state
has (or does not have) programs in place for funding. Some people go
through these programs and some take advantage of tax breaks or funds
that come from other options. Many just want to pay for an energy audit.

We do not teach how to access the various funds, programs or tax breaks.
Our class deals with an introduction to doing energy audits. Some go
on to get various certification courses and some just add this energy
audit feature to their home inspection service as an extra benefit to their
client. I encourage each person to discover more about this field.

If you are not happy with our free class, let me know and I will give you
your money back…:slight_smile: