President Obama’s proposed Better Buildings Initiative could create 114,000 jobs, helping keep America’s economy on a path toward recovery from the ‘Great Recession’ that began in 2008.
A report released this week by the US Green Building Council in conjunction with the Real Estate Round Table, Natural Resources Defense Council, and Political Economy Research Institute finds that this initiative would spur job growth in a number of ways. In particular, it will increase demand for green products and services (higher demand being critical to job growth). The energy savings will make it easier for companies to balance their budgets without having to lay off their dedicated workers (or making other employees do more work for the same or less pay).
The initiative would encourage businesses to retrofit their buildings with energy efficient products, including compact fluorescent light bulbs and programmable thermostats, through a series of tax incentives. The report estimates that approximately 77,000 new jobs would be created as a result of these incentives because of the increased demand for green products.
These tax incentives also spell good news for the businesses who implement these upgrades. Businesses would not see a negative effect to their bottom line for implementing these changes, as their tax burden would be directly reduced by the amount they spend on these improvements. Instead, businesses will end up saving a great deal of money on energy costs – approximately $1.4 billion per year – meaning more money for job creation and less likelihood of having to lay off hard-working employees.
The Better Buildings Initiative seeks to reduce businesses’ energy consumption by 20% by the year 2020. By doing this, businesses will be able to save money, our country will depend less on nonrenewable resources from other countries, and our environment will be protected. This report shows that it makes perfect sense for both businesses and individuals to get behind this initiative.
While the two are not directly related despite their similar names, the Better Buildings Initiative has many of the same goals as one of WMEAC’s most well-known programs – BetterBuildings for Michigan, which WMEAC offers in conjunction with the City of Grand Rapids and the Department of Energy, Labor, and Economic Growth. Thanks to a grant received through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, BetterBuildings for Michigan continues to offer homes the chance to save big bucks on utility bills – also helping our economy as residents use the money they save to pay down debts and buy other products and services.
If you want your job and our country to be more secure, be sure to contact Senators Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow and your local US Representative and ask them to support jobs, the environment, and national security by supporting the Better Buildings Initiative.
And as always, if you want to take advantage of energy savings for your home, be sure to call Ann Erhardt at (616) 451-3051 ext. 24 to set up your home energy assessment.