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Green Jobs/Green Homes New York

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A new report from the Center for American Progress, the Center for Working Families, and Half in Ten shows how innovative public policy can transform the market for home energy efficiency, create tens of thousands of new clean-energy jobs, and leverage billions in private capital to revitalize the housing sector.

Green Jobs/Green Homes New York

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The program presented in this paper, Green Jobs/Green Homes NY, is a large-scale plan to make retrofits affordable to New Yorkers who don’t have access to sufficient capital. But the imperative for using residential retrofits to give all New Yorkers a chance to save on energy costs goes beyond funding. Energy efficiency represents a major capital undertaking, but must also engage communities to participate in planning and reaping the benefits of this publicly led investment in jobs, affordable housing, and environmental stewardship.

Green Jobs/Green Homes NY is a comprehensive approach that connects those dots.  It provides the framework for ensuring mass retrofits are implemented through a community lens, adding value to ongoing local work toward economic and environmental equity. Building on and linking unions’ and community groups’ existing job training—and shaping the expanding retrofit industry with decent wages and benefits—can provide direct economic gain to whole communities (not just owners or occupants of retrofitted housing) by bringing many thousands of much-needed, good-paying jobs and career paths to local residents.

Green Jobs/Green Homes NY critically establishes dynamic, new relationships among policymakers, labor, and communities around the state in a shared effort to foster a fair green economy. Climate change and economic upheaval both demand that we transform our economy from the bottom up, starting now. Our decision-makers don’t have to start from scratch: Here is a primer on how to get it done. We are hopeful, excited, and ready to seize this chance together.

The “Green Jobs/Green Homes NY” program will:

  • Combat climate change by reducing home energy consumption by 30 percent to 40 percent. This reduction will avoid the need for new power plants and cut residential energy use—which is responsible for 40 percent of New York's greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Create 60,000 green job-years directly related to the expansion of retrofit work and another 60,000 job-years indirectly through additional economic activity.
  • Save New York households more than $1 billion annually through reduced home energy use and energy bill savings, with consumer protections to maximize benefits of lowered housing costs.
  • Leverage $5 billion in private investments to pay for retrofits through the creation of an innovative financing model to secure third-party investments.

Executive summary:

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