Posts Tagged ‘White House’

What’s all the hubbub about the “green button”?

January 20, 2012

White House PGE announce the Green ButtonThe White House announced that PG&E, and San Diego Gas & Electric have launched the “green button”, an online tool that allows customers to download their own energy data.

[Watch California utilities PG&E, and San Diego Gas & Electric in the video of the Green Button launch.]

That is certainly good news.  We’ve long used a good look an utility bill history and energy usage to help figure out what going on in a home.  Something that makes it easier for a homeowner to track down that history is a good thing.  And we look forward to a host of third-party aps that can help consumers save energy and money.

But from the hoopla, you’d think our energy woes are over.

Not so fast.  Access to household energy use data is really important.  And Facebook aps might be fun.  But when it’s 105 degrees out and you have a poorly insulated house, with south- and west-facing glass, and an old air-conditioner, are you going to be able to stay comfortable without paying a lot of money to the utilities?  No.  Good information helps, but it doesn’t change physics.  To make your home more comfortable and not break the bank with utility bills, you’ve got to make actual improvements!

And the fundamentals still apply.  You need good insulation and air-sealing, tight duct work, efficient heating and cooling equipment, efficient lighting.  And you also need to know if your water heater, furnace, or any other combustion appliance in your home is operating safely and efficiently.  The green button won’t don’t that for you.

Energy Upgrade CaliforniaFortunately, for California residents, the statewide Energy Upgrade California (EUC) program can provide up to $4,000 in rebates to help make smart improvements (some cities and counties are offering even more in matching rebates).  And certified contractors can give you access to these incentives. GreenHomes America partners have BPI-certified staff, and can provide access to the EUC incentives.

The best way to find out what you might qualify for is to have a real home energy audit conducted by a participating contractor—and then get the rebate by having the contractor make the improvements.  You can contact participating experts in the following areas to learn more:

So bring the green button on.  Check it out.  Easier access to utility information is great (after all, we’re paying the bills, aren’t we—shouldn’t we be able to get the information?)  Kudos to PG&E and SDGE for stepping up to lead the nation with this.  The rest of the country?  Well, a handful of additional uttilies have said they’re interested, so stay tuned.  And if GreenHomes has a location near you, we’ll help you find applicable rebates, incentives, and loans.

But if you want a more comfortable, healthier, and more energy-efficiency home, data alone won’t do it.  A good home assessment followed by the right, professionally installed, measures, will.


White House Releases “Recovery through Retrofit” report

October 19, 2009

On the White House Live today, Vice President Biden held an event releasing a new report Recovery Through Retrofit Report, that contains an action plan speeding up the adoption of home retrofits nationally and jump start a jobs recovery.   This plan is to address barriers without new money and by using authority the federal government already has.  Essentially, they’re trying to promote the type of retrofits that GreenHomes does today in New York, New Jersey, and Southern California to a wider audience through education, training and certification, and financing options.    They talked about home assessments using the latest tools and skills, and effective improvements. 

The announcement event can be watched on the White House You Tube channel.  You can also read more on the White House blog post

In today’s economy, people want to make their homes safer, more comfortable, and more energy-efficient, and crawling through attics and basements and air-sealing, duct-sealing, insulating, and installing high-efficiency heating and cooling equipment creates jobs right now, jobs that can’t be exported, and jobs that improve home economics and national energy security.  An idea whose time has surely come.


Jobs in a Clean-Energy Future

June 26, 2009
Van Jones discusses green jobs and a clean-energy economy at the White House

Van Jones discusses green jobs and a clean-energy economy at the White House

Check out Van Jones in this White House video talking about Wetherization and green jobs.  At GreenHomes, we are holding on to existing jobs and creating new ones, even in this challenging economy.  I think that’s because people understand that investing in energy-efficiency and protecting themselves from the uncertainty of fluctuating and spiking energy prices is a smart move.  And not only is it one of the safest investments to make right now, but it also results in a safer, more comfortable home.  A green home.


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