Europe Shows the Way to Energy-Efficient Design

After the EU signed Kyoto, requiring it to reduce carbon emissions 8% below 1990 levels by 2012, many products and design changed there, diverging from US standards. Cars, for example, became smaller, lighter; and more fuel efficient. Even US automakers not known for efficiency make 62 MPG cars for Europe. Germany and Spain introduced Feed-in Tariffs that paid homeowners to make solar power on their roofs.

But most interestingly, for Americans now considering energy efficient retrofits with a new “Cash for Caulkers” program being considered, a whole new industry was created by the need to supply new energy efficient building innovations. Energy efficient glass.

Minnesota Model for the Home Star Program Runs Out of Funds

The trial run for “Cash for Caulkers” is a big hit. Another of the the green-jobs-and-carbon-footprint-reduction projects funded by the Obama Administration Recovery Act funds has really caught on big time. The first is Property Assessed Clean Energy Financing to make solar essentially free (Joe Biden to Solar Power the USA With PACE Berkeley First Municipal Financing) with just one county’s result: Rooftop Solar = 4% of Sonoma County’s Power.

How Obama's Home Star "Cash for Caulkers" Program Could Green Up America's Homes

The Obama administration is betting its new Home Star “Cash for Caulkers” program that it’s the one with the greenest bang for the buck. They’ll pay you up to half the cost to retrofit that gas-guzzling house of yours for up to $4,000 and in the process put a quarter of a million unemployed construction workers back to work lowering your energy costs and carbon footprint.