The Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors' National Association (SMACNA) strongly supports the recently introduced Building STAR legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.
– The Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors' National Association
(SMACNA) strongly supports the recently introduced Building
STAR legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.
In a letter jointly co-signed with its labor partner the
Sheet Metal Workers' International Association, SMACNA President John
Lindemulder stated that “H.R. 5476, Building STAR
is guaranteed to create thousands of construction jobs this year. Building STAR would help put people back to
work retrofitting existing buildings, and would do so fast.
"The beauty of Building
STAR is that rebate and tax incentive levels would be established
in the legislation, rather than by agencies, making the payback for Building STAR almost immediate.”
In the current recession, no sector has been harder hit than
the construction industry, which has lost far more than 2 million jobs since
H.R. 5476 legislation, introduced May 28, offers
technology specific rebates that are based on proven utility rebate programs
that already are helping improve the energy performance of buildings and homes,
and will create and retain jobs.
Building STAR is a
package of equipment and installation-based rebates and financing assistance to
stimulate energy efficient retrofits and enhance the energy performance of
commercial and multifamily residential buildings. It would quickly mobilize
building owners, construction firms, the building trades, and manufacturers and
distributors of building supplies to create jobs in 2010.
"It is the right program at the right time for our
economy for an industry with near historic unemployment across all
sectors," President Lindemulder said.
Create at least 185,000
jobs in 2010. With a federal investment of $6 billion, Building STAR could spur total market activity
of $15-$20 billion, based on experience with proven state and utility-run
rebate programs. Applying job-creation ratios typical for commercial retrofits,
a program of this size would create at least 185,000 construction,
manufacturing and support jobs in 2010.
Work quickly.The technology-specific rebates in Building STAR are
based on proven utility-run rebate programs that already are helping to improve
the energy performance of homes and buildings, and to create and retain jobs.
Rebate and tax incentive levels would be established in legislation, rather
than by agencies, making it possible for Building
STAR to hit the ground running.
Benefit America's small businesses.
More than 90 percent of the contractors who perform commercial and multifamily
building retrofits employ fewer than 20 workers. Even where large firms hold
the primary contract, much of the work is subcontracted to smaller firms.
Thousands of these firms would quickly rehire laid-off workers. Small
businesses would also benefit from reduced energy bills. For example, a
restaurant that cut its energy costs by 15 percent could increase profits by 30
percent, according to the EPA.
Provide opportunity to
high-skilled workers and contractors.The commercial building
sector employs sophisticated energy services contractors and highly skilled
workers. Building STAR would provide
opportunities for these workers and contractors during the current economic downturn,
preserving skills essential to improve energy performance over time across our
nation's entire stock of large buildings.
Reduce energy consumption
and consumer costs.Building STAR will help overcome market
barriers that block energy efficiency from occurring at a large scale. The size
of commercial building retrofits ensures that we will reap large energy
savings, reducing energy demand and driving down costs for everyone.
H.R. 5476 (S. 3079), was developed by Rebuilding America, a SMACNA-supported
coalition of more than 60 construction organizations, manufacturers, financial
services companies, building trade unions, and efficiency advocates, in
conjunction with a number of outside technical experts.
SMACNA, an international trade association representing
4,500 contributing contractor firms, is dedicated to promoting quality and
excellence in the sheet metal and air conditioning industry. SMACNA has
national offices in Chantilly, Va.,
outside of Washington, D.C., as well as on Capitol Hill.