Recovery Through Retrofit' Can Allow Green Builders to Shine, NAHB Says Main Boise Home Builder
This is an update to my blog ?Home Remodels, Retrofits Are Key To An Energy-Efficient Future,? in which I noted that the greatest energy savings can be achieved by making changes to existing housing, particularly homes built before 1990.

From NAHB Green Building Update

Retrofitting existing homes using existing techniques and technologies in energy efficiency can reduce home energy use by up to 40 percent per home and lower associated greenhouse gas emissions by up to 160 million metric tons annually by the year 2020. Furthermore, home energy efficiency retrofits have the potential to reduce home energy bills by $21 billion annually, paying for themselves over time.
An Obama Administration report on roadblocks that have discouraged homeowners from weatherizing their homes and making them more energy-efficient has led to a Council on Environmental Quality meeting with key stakeholders – including NAHB – to discuss ways to break through.
The White House “Recovery Through Retrofit” report details the market barriers that have delayed progress, including a lack of consistent, reliable information, such as a rating or labeling system to indicate how efficient a home is before and after retrofitting; not enough effective financing tools or ways to make sure the money is spent appropriately; and a need for a trained workforce to implement these changes.
NAHB submitted comments on the report in mid-November that explained how the association and its members can partner with federal, state and local officials to educate consumers about programs and services already in place to improve the energy efficiency of existing homes.
For example, the National Green Building Standard, the only national rating system applicable to renovation and remodeling projects, sets efficiency benchmarks tied to successful existing voluntary programs, such as Energy Star.
In addition, NAHB members are active in training and educational programs to learn more about energy efficiency, and more than 4,500 have already achieved the Certified Green Professional Designation. The Home Builders Institute - the workforce development arm of NAHB dedicated to advancing the quality of craft education and training programs, promoting career opportunities and serving the general needs of the housing industry. has “greened” its construction-trades curriculum for those new to the industry and is working with training partners nationwide to better implement these improvements.
Finally, NAHB is supporting federal efforts to create new financing plans for homeowners who would consider weatherization work but don’t want to invest money in projects when they won't see the investments pay for themselves while they own the home.
NAHB sent a letter in support of a bill introduced by Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) that would establish federal backing for property-accessed clean energy, or PACE bonds. The bonds are used to pay for residential weatherization work but the cost is linked to the homeowner’s property tax bill, so remaining payments are conveyed when the house is sold and are spread out over subsequent years.
Creative financing efforts like PACE bonds offer more potential than incentives such as Energy Efficient Mortgages, which have not gained traction because they only allow home buyers to borrow more money, rather than reduce their interest rates, NAHB pointed out in its comment letter.
“We are hopeful that [federal] agencies will rely on NAHB’s experience and expertise and the successes we have garnered as they develop and implement their action plan to boost energy savings and grow green jobs,” the letter said.
Chuck Miller GMB   CGB CGP   MIRM   CMP   MCSP   CSP
President / Builder – Chuck Miller Construction Inc.
(208) 229-2553
Posted by Chuck Miller at 11/23/2009 5:28:00 AM
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