Monday, December 14, 2009

Making It Work

I think a cash for caulkers program is a pretty good idea, but in order to make it work you need to make it easy and make the up front costs for people next to nothing. It seems that people in the White House think cash rebates will do the trick, but they really won't lead to widespread use of the program. A lot of the people who would benefit from the program aren't exactly cash rich, and the benefits from improving home energy efficiency are experienced over a period of years. In addition, there are big transaction costs associated with hiring and having contractors come into your home to do the work. I think Merkley's proposals for such a program, which involve removing the need for up front cash and administering financing through community groups, would greatly improve it.