Proposed Legislation Would Create Jobs through Energy-Efficient Renovations
BETHESDA, Md. - The EPDM Roofing Association (ERA) announced its support for the Building STAR Energy Efficiency Rebate Act of 2010, recently introduced in the U.S. Senate.
This proposed bill, introduced by Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Ben Cardin (D-MD), will create jobs by promoting the installation of energy-efficient renovations in commercial and multi-family residential buildings.
The Building STAR program utilizes rebates and low-interest loans to leverage between two and three dollars in private investment for every federal dollar spent. The bill would stimulate $18 billion to $24 billion in total investment, resulting in more than 150,000 new jobs.
These jobs would provide good pay, allow companies to rehire laid off workers and infuse capital into small businesses and hard-hit communities across the country. The savings accrued by building owners and the profits earned by laborers and manufacturers will power even more economic growth.
“Emphasizing energy efficiency isn't just important for environmental reasons, it represents an engine for job creation today by providing additional incentives for commercial building retrofitting,” said Mike DuCharme, director of product marketing, Carlisle SynTec, and chairman of the board for the EPDM Roofing Association. “Commercial building retrofits are an essential part of the nation's construction industry recovery program and we fully support this effort by Congress to chart a path forward."
"Building STAR would provide economic relief for an industry that greatly needs it," said Bill Tippins, EPDM product manager for Firestone Building Products and a member of the ERA Technical Committee. "But it would also push forward the vital concept of sustainable performance that will be the core principle of responsible building in the coming years.”
Building STAR would:
• Create 25,000 jobs in 2010 for every $1 billion of federal investment for the hard-hit construction and building services, manufacturing, and distribution sectors.
• Maximize federal investment, by leveraging $2-3 in private investment for every federal dollar spent, making it a great model for a public-private partnership and maximizing resource efficacy.
• Provide direct benefits to thousands of small businesses, including the 91 percent of commercial contractors that have fewer than 20 employees.
• Use a simple application process so building owners can participate easily.
• Work quickly, because the rebate and incentive levels are established in legislation, rather than by agencies. In addition, this program is based on existing, already- proven utility rebate programs and tax incentives.
• Deliver real energy savings and greenhouse gas emission reductions, because of the typically large size and scope of commercial and multi-family building retrofits. For example, such retrofits could save industry $3.3 billion a year, based on data compiled by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy.
Building STAR is also supported by Rebuilding America, a ground-breaking coalition of unions, contractor associations, manufacturers, financial services companies and energy efficiency advocates.