There is some economic and evironmental good news in the housing and construction sector. More than $10 billion of federal stimulus funding to retrofit homes, businesses and government buildings to be more energy efficient is starting to hit communities around the country, including Minnesota, Minneapolis
and Saint Paul
. Building energy retrofits save energy and reduce pollution at the same time they put people to work.
Energy use in buildings accounts for nearly 40% of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. Low-cost technologies and certain construction practices can cut energy use in many buildings by up to 30%. That difference could translate into cost savings and implementing the fixes will create jobs.
Cities that receive retrofit funds from the Minnesota Weatherization Assistance Program are spending the money quickly to create jobs. They're also trying to make sure they invest these resources in the best way possible for the best long term benefits.
And Minneapolis and Saint Paul are doing a good job. Our Twin Cities have partnered up to work together and have set a daring goal of retrofitting all the buildings in their city limits within 10 years. The Twin Cities have engaged a partnership of state and local agencies, utilities, industry groups, organized labor and community-based nonprofits to create a comprehensive system to get the work done.
There are other communities throughout Minnesota that have money waiting for home weatherization. Want to know what the requirements are? Want to find out if you qualify? Check out the Minnesota Housing website.