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  • Stimulus Fail: Green Your Home for $57,000

    A $5 billion stimulus program to weatherize homes is off to a shaky start. ABC News reports that at the end of 2009, only 9,100 have been weatherized to save energy through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.  $522 million of the $5 billion has been spent thus far, which equates to over $57,000 per home. That’s quite a slow for a stimulus bill that was supposed to be timely and effective; the goal of the plan was to  cover 593,000 homes from the passage of the stimulus bill through 2012. That means they’re 1.5% of the way there towards meeting the goal. Only 98.5% to go!

    The Department of Energy contests that 22,000 homes have been weatherized, but that still only equates to 3.7% of the targeted goal. What’s the problem? Everything, to start, but in this instance it is the government’s red tape:

    [T]he Recovery Act included so-called Davis-Bacon requirements for all weatherization grants. Davis-Bacon is a Depression-era law meant to ensure equitable pay for workers on federally funded projects. Under that law, the grants may only go to projects that pay a “prevailing wage” on par with private-sector employers.

    The Department of Labor spent most of the past year trying to determine the prevailing wage for weatherization work, a determination that had to be made for each of the more than 3,000 counties in the United States, according to the GAO report.

    Secondly, many homes have to go through a National Historic Preservation Trust review before work can begin. The report quoted Michigan state officials as saying that 90 percent of the homes to be weatherized must go through that review process, but the state only has two employees in its historic preservation office.”

    Texas Watchdog detailed their state’s problem with the weatherization program two weeks ago noting that $3.7 million in taxpayer money had been spent to weatherize 47 homes.  That’s $78,000 per home,  which beats out the per home nationwide average by $21,000.

    The other lesson from this is that one way to actually create jobs and make projects driven by the private sector more efficient is to streamline  regulatory barriers that unnecessarily prohibit the shovel from hitting the ground.

    The stimulus was supposed to save or create jobs. Was it also supposed to be timely or effective? Which one does this fall under?

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    10 Responses to Stimulus Fail: Green Your Home for $57,000

    1. Charles L.I. N.Y. says:

      Even $21,000 is ridiculous to weatherize a home. Who is accounting for this money? It obviously is not accounted for. Therefore it allows our government to pocket millions of our tax dollars and distribute it as they see fit. Once again our government sets up a stupid bogus program to divert the money into their pockets. Does this ever end? They create these assinine agencies and stupid regulations only to make it look like they are doing some good, but are really diverting the publics attention so they can steal from us. The EPA,the DEP, the IPCC, a bunch of bull. Our government is nothing but illussionist. They can't actually just come out and say, hey, we want to rob your wallets, so they create the illussion that they are using the money for a good cause and that these bogus agencies that they make up are mandating it. In the public sector it is called extortion.

    2. Bobbie Jay says:

      This one falls under Obama. Failure to communicate, failure to succumb to the American way. FREEDOM, LIBERTY and the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS! Failure to mind their business.

      Most products to "green your home" are manufactured OVERSEAS! Who knows what safety standards they follow? Or don't.

    3. Bobbie Jay says:

      Everything to "green your home" is manufactured overseas! And whose to say they run according to the same safety standards this country once protected us with? And whose to say the "consumer protection" of this country is on the side of Americans?

    4. Ben C. Ann Arbor, MI says:

      Here in Ann Arbor our "Hysterical" Commission will not allow a home owner to change windows in their home unless they match EXACTLY the ones being replaced. I know, I have watched the cable channel Historical Commission meeting with home owner submissions being challenged by the "know it all" commissioners. I can say for almost certain that old homes in Ann Arbor will not be retrofitted with energy efficient windows or insulation in our lifetime. But then Ann Arbor is a very liberal town – go figure.

    5. Concerned, Mequon WI says:

      they don't get it…if people aren't working they don't have the money to take advantage of this offer!

    6. Jim, Maine says:

      Theory of heat flow: heat flows up (exclusive of drafts, etc.). Yet these programs spend thousands of our $$ putting insulation in basement ceilings! This might help in one case out of 50, but it surely isn't worth the $$ or the effort. Another example of how government agencies keep themselves in power!

    7. Drew Page, IL says:

      This reminds me of Jimmy Carter's energy policy. "The world is out of oil. Put on a sweater."

    8. Victoria Maine says:

      WOW!! For $57,000.00 I could buy a new home that would be energy efficient. Most of the people I know eligible for weatherization live in mobile homes or homes that don't even come close to the price paid for the above mentioned pricetag.

    9. Drew Page, IL says:

      It has just been revealed that the Department of energy has just spent $2 billion dollars of Stimulus money for wind powered turbines. Remember how the Stimulus bill was going to put Americans back to work. Well where would you suppose that those $2 billion dollars worth of turbines are being built? That's right folks, right there in the Peoples Republic of China.

      Don't believe me? Check it out on Senator Chuck Schumer's web site. I just viewed a filmed interview of Senator Schumer where he conceded that this is not what they had in mind when they passed the Stimulus bill and that he was going to introduce legislation to put a stop to this. Senator Schumer, the horse is already out of the barn.

      Yes fellow taxpayers, this is how your tax dollars are going to put Americans back to work. I don't know about you, but I'm curious to know how much, if any, stock Al Gore owns, directly or indirectly, in the Chinese firm that manufactured these turbines, or if he is a paid consultant to this firm.

    10. Pingback: High-Speed Rail: More Mickey Mouse Stimulus Spending | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

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