As both a proud member of the National Association of Home Builder and a Green home builder, Wilmington, NC luxury home builder Mark Johnson Custom Homes would like to share with our readers a recent press release from the NAHB. Below is the complete press release on “Project ReEnergize”, a program that was addressed at the NAHB’s International Builders’ Show aimed to generate Green jobs and weatherize homes.

“January 21, 2010 – A weatherization program that created jobs while it made homes more energy-efficient worked in Minnesota – and can be one model for successful programs in other states.

A remodeler, a window manufacturer and the executive officer for the Builders Association of Minnesota explained how ‘Project ReEnergize’ worked during a press conference on Wednesday at the National Association of Home Builders’ International Builders’ Show.

As part of its economic stimulus package, the Obama Administration made money available to state agencies for the purpose of weatherizing homes and generating jobs.

When some Minnesota agencies could not disburse the funding quickly enough, the state turned to the home builders association, which quickly trained and certified contractors and insulation installers to make improvements to 1,400 homes, said Pam Perri Weaver, BAMN’s executive officer.

Consumers were eligible for rebates when they hired certified contractors to replace windows, but they received even more money if their home’s insulation was upgraded as well. That was an important incentive because it’s hard to convince home owners to make improvements that in the end, they can’t see, said Minnesota remodeler Shawn Nelson, a Project ReEnergize participant. ‘Air sealing is not a visual upgrade,’ he said.

About 90 percent of the windows in today’s homes are older, single-pane glass styles – much less efficient than modern double-pane, triple-pane and argon-filled products, noted Maureen McDonough of Andersen Windows. A new federal energy-efficiency tax credit and supplying windows for Project ReEnergize contractors were important factors in enabling the manufacturer to call back 600 employees who had been laid off, she added.

Participating home owners had no income limits, but the homes could be no larger than 3,000 square feet and had to be built before the year 2000, when more stringent state energy codes were mandated. The average size of each home was 1,800 square feet and the average age was about 45 years old, Weaver said.

The home builders association stands ready to funnel more money to consumers to make upgrades should additional federal funding become available. ‘We have a list of people who are waiting,’ because most consumers are unwilling to make the upgrades without the financial incentives, Nelson said.”

Courtesy of: www.nahb.org

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