US Congress Votes in Favour of Upgrading US Homes
Cornwall ON – Recently the Harper Government suddenly cancelled the ecoENERGY Retrofit Program, which was designed to help homeowners and landlords upgrade the energy efficiency of their homes. Among things which were eligible for a grant were energy efficient furnaces and hot water heaters, energy efficient central air conditioners and heat pumps, and insulation. The program, which was matched dollar for dollar by the Ontario Government, helped make these vital improvements affordable to most Ontarians as the province begins moving forward to a green economy.
Despite the Federal Government pulling out of its commitment to a stronger future economy, the Ontario Government is remaining true to its promise, and will continue its funding, at least for the time being.
On the other hand, south of the border, the US Congress has passed, by a non-partisan vote of 246 to 161, the Home Star Retrofit Act, a bill very similar in concept to Canada’s Retrofit Program.
Efficiency First is a national nonprofit trade association that promotes Green Building Standards in the US. According to its chairman, Mike Rogers, “Home Star will create good American jobs in construction, manufacturing and related industries. It will help American homeowners improve the efficiency of their homes and save money. And it will provide a solid foundation for our country’s energy policy and energy security.
“Home Star will create hundreds of thousands of good quality jobs, while saving families money on energy bills.”
The American Congress is to be congratulated for taking such a concrete step to reduce its carbon footprint and its dependence on coal and OPEC. Equally important as we try to recover from the recession and prepare for the next, the Americans are actively creating jobs in the new Green economy, despite obvious pressures from Big Oil and Big Coal.
So why is Canada stepping backwards in a journey towards a better world?
For more information on the US Home Star Program, see http://homestarcoalition.org/HOME_STAR_Overview.pdf
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