Way down in Vancouver, they got some good ideas about how to help the environment and create jobs at the same time — an idea which could really help us folks way up here in Northern Canada who watch the ice melt and the polar bears freak out.
One of my buddies there sent me this business editorial from the Vancouver Sun about how retrofitting buildings in British Columbia built before 1984 could cut down on carbon emissions and keep people employed.
Wouldn’t need any of the usual zoning and planning hassles or special equipment — just the usual good-idea stuff: insulation, high-performance windows and doors, weatherstripping, super-efficient heating and cooling systems:
Retrofitting 100,000 homes a year in B.C. would keep 14,000 to 30,000 tradespeople employed, including electricians, heating/air conditioning installers, carpenters, insulation workers, building inspectors and others.
Saves the homeowner, too. There ain’t a house up here that don’t have weatherstripping and state of the art insulation, all that stuff, if you can afford it. Otherwise the heating bills go through the roof, literally. Here’s their idea:
Retrofitting homes results in energy conservation and can save homeowners thousands of dollars and dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A report by the Columbia Foundation shows that at current energy prices, a homeowner can double his or her return — over $12,000 on an average $6,000 investment in energy efficiency over 25 years — by making simple changes like upgrading hot-water tanks and home heating and cooling systems, and improving weatherization and home insulation…
It costs up front, but the writers have some ideas how B.C. (British Columbia) can help out its residents:
[U]pfront retrofit costs can be eliminated through innovative financing arrangements: loans provided to homeowners by municipalities, financial institutions, utilities or other funders can be paid back gradually through small payments on property taxes or utility bills. The financing obligations are included on a property tax bill as a surcharge until completely paid off, even if the property changes owners in the interim.
Sounds good to me.
The icebergs up here like the idea, too.