- Saving Money by Saving Energy
Saving Money by Saving Energy
In the United States, buildings account for 48 percent of our energy consumption.
There are a lot of reasons to reduce our energy use: bolstering our energy independence, saving families money on utility bills, and reducing harmful pollution.
And we lower our energy use through simple projects like adding insulation, sealing leaky ducts, or replacing old and inefficient appliances.
These energy-efficient renovations create much-needed jobs manufacturing, in retail sales, and in construction while at the same time reducing the pollution that causes global warming.
To help quickly create jobs during this recession while families in Oregon and across the country need it most, Senator Merkley is urging Senate leaders and the White House move forward with three programs as Congress develops legislation to combat unemployment:
- The Clean Energy for Homes and Buildings Act helps families and business owners receive low-interest loans for energy-efficient renovations that they can pay back out of the savings they get on their energy bill. Many states, including Oregon, have excellent programs to offer rebates and discounts on energy efficiency investments, but a project costing thousands of dollars is out of reach for most families and small businesses. This financing model, based on programs in place in Oregon, can help put people to work today and save money tomorrow.
- “Home Star” is a proposal from Senator Merkley and Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) to provide homeowners with additional rebates and low-cost financing to make energy-efficient renovations. The program, modeled on the popular and effective “Cash for Clunkers” program, would give homeowners rebates of up to 50 percent at the point of sale.
- “Building Star” is a proposal to help small businesses and other building owners make similar energy-efficient renovations. By reducing energy bills and business costs, these kinds of renovations can make it easier for them to keep jobs during tough economic times. Like Home Star, Building Star will offer a combination of rebates and low-interest financing to jump-start job creation.
Oregon Energy Programs Ready to Help You Get Started
Clean Energy Works Portland is a pilot program that will help up to 500 qualified Portland homeowners make their homes energy efficient. The program offers low-cost financial assistance to homeowners so they can afford to make improvements such as energy efficient installation or installation of an energy saving water heater. Click here for more information about the program and eligibility requirements.
The Energy Trust of Oregon, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping Oregonians reduce their energy consumption and use more renewable energy provides valuable information about how to retrofit your home or business.
If you’re a homeowner seeking information about available financial incentives to make retrofitting your home more affordable, click here. The Energy Trust of Oregon also provides helpful tips on how to weatherize your home or save money using energy efficient heating and cooling systems or by simply changing a light bulb.
If you’re a business owner, click here for valuable information on how Energy Trust of Oregon can help with cash incentives, technical assistance or finding a contractor that can make your business more energy efficient.
If you are outside of Portland and get your gas or electricity from a utility that doesn’t work with Energy Trust of Oregon, contact your local utility to find out about what energy efficiency programs they offer.