Vice President Biden and the Middle Class Task Force today announced three new initiatives that will give the residential energy efficiency world a jolt.
The Department Of Energy released a new energy score system that will streamline energy audits, make them cheaper, and create new jobs in auditing.
“The initiatives announced today are putting the Recovery Through Retrofit report’s recommendations into action – giving American families the tools they need to invest in home energy upgrades,” said Vice President Biden. “Together, these programs will grow the home retrofit industry and help middle class families save money and energy.”
To support the initiative, the Department of Housing and Urban Development said that it will create a new PowerSaver loan program that will provide up to $25,000 in low interest loans to homeowners to perform those retrofits. The Department of Labor reported that it was releasing for comment new guidelines and standards to ensure a qualified workforce in the industry. Secretaries Chu, Donovan, and Solis came out to make the announcements.
Today's announcement culminates an 18-month-long interagency effort facilitated by the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and the Office of the Vice Present, 11 departments and agencies and six White House offices.
The initiatives announced today include:
The Home Energy Score program
A new program that will help homeowners make cost-effective decisions about home energy improvements. Trained and certified contractors will be able to use a newly developed energy software tool to generate a "score" that will help homeowners understand their home's current efficiency level and other information.
The FHA PowerSaver loan program
A new financing option, developed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), which will enable homeowners to make energy saving improvements to their homes through affordable federally-insured loans from private lenders.
New Workforce Guidelines for Home Energy Upgrades and Healthy Indoor Environment Protocols for Home Energy Upgrades
The Guidelines can be adopted by training providers to improve retrofit course curriculum and training programs. The Protocols serves as a companion document to the Guidelines, providing the recommended actions necessary to maintain or improve indoor air quality and resident health when performing home energy retrofits.
Small Business Administration Green Business Opportunities Course
A new online course, it provides training for entrepreneurs who are looking to enter the home energy retrofit market. The course provides free business counseling and information for those seeking to launch a new business or expand an existing business in the energy efficiency market.