The Clean Energy Works program in Portland recently got some extra press as Nancy Pelosi came to town for a visit and a tour of a local home. As a advocate for green forms of energy savings, I’m a fan of what Clean Energy Works is trying to do, but as a business owner, I’m not a fan of how it is being implemented in the Portland Area.
First, some quotes from the article.
Pelosi asked Tom Kelly, of the local contractor, Neil Kelly, about the new energy-saving technology he’s using. Kelly says some of it’s been around a long time, like the insulation workers added to the upstairs.
Ok, I have to stop right there. The contracts to do this work are being handed out to a very small set of contractors. The amount of new job creation is very small as all the business is going to existing long-term firms with established political ties.
Tom Kelly: “Some technology and I’ll show you some of, the tankless hot-water heater downstairs…”
Nancy Pelosi: “That I’m absolutely fascinated by – I want one.”
If the extent of excitement is about tank-less heaters, I really question the motivations behind the install. We all know that in many cases, unless the consumer really buys into the concept behind instant hot-water that the utility bills can actually go up. Installing a tank-less heater is not the technology answer to savings.
Pelosi says programs like Clean Energy Works are a national model for providing jobs and helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with the energy sector.
But she adds such successes don’t reduce the need to regulate carbon.
Pelosi: “To put a price on carbon – whether it’s cap and trade or other initiatives, is important in the bigger scheme of things. But it’s not an either-or, it’s definitely not an either-or.”
Pelosi says she expects the U.S. Senate to pass an energy bill later this year, like the one she helped get through the House.
She says more programs like the Clean Energy Works could be funded that way.
I’m curious to see what might come out of the Federal offices this fall. I’d like to get more involved.
Anyone have more thoughts on what is next?