Focus turns to green building efficiencies

| Print |  Email
Wednesday, April 01, 2009

STATEWIDE Oregon's residential and commercial construction markets may be stalled by the paralyzing credit crisis, but state lawmakers and industry professionals see potential in the state's green building sector to add jobs to the shrinking economy.

Area builders and developers are shying away from new green construction however, and instead focusing more on energy-efficient retrofits of existing homes and buildings. The state Legislature is also exploring the economic potential of this sector, with a group of lawmakers recently announcing the Energy Efficient and Sustainable Technology Act, a bill which aims to make financing for green retrofits more accessible.

"We know that energy efficiency and renewable energy projects are a good bet on the future," says one of the bill's main sponsors, Rep. Jules Bailey, D-Portland.

EEAST would provide increased funding for Oregonians to make their homes more energy efficient via low-interest, long-term loans. Home and business owners could attach loan payments to their utility bills. The  savings from the reduced energy use means consumers would likely see an immediate decrease in their utility bills even with the additional loan payment, say the bill's co-sponsors.  

"I think it is a fabulous step in that it puts a financing mechanism in front of consumers, which has previously been a significant obstacle," says Sean Penrith, executive director of Earth Advantage, a Portland-based residential green certification program.

Home and business owners won't be the only ones benefiting from their upgrades.  For every $1 million invested in efficiency retrofits, eight to 11 on-site jobs are created, according to a recent report published by the Oregon Department of Energy.

With legislators hoping to put EEAST in action this summer, hundreds of new green-collar jobs could arrive in a matter of months.  

"I have no doubt we will see retrofits increase," says Mark Edlen of Gerding Edlen Development. "The opportunity is enormous."

NICOLE STORMBERG

Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

More Articles

On the Road

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

My daughter turned 18 last week, and for her birthday I got her a Car2Go membership. Not to label myself a disruptor or anything, but it felt like a groundbreaking moment. The two of us, mother and child, were participating in a new teen rite of passage: Instead of handing over the car keys, I handed over a car-sharing card — with the caveat that she not use the gift as her own personal car service.


Read more...

Beneath the Surface

May 2015
Thursday, April 23, 2015
0515-goodhacker01 250pxwBY LINDA BAKER

On April 1 I attended a forum at the University of Portland on the sharing economy. The event featured panelists from Lyft and Airbnb, as well as Portland Mayor Charlie Hales. Asked about the impact of tech-driven sharing economy services. Hales said the new business models are reshaping the landscape. “But,” he added, “I don’t pretend to understand how a lot of this [technology] works.” 


Read more...

Epitaph for a Boondoggle

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT

The CRC is a cautionary tale about how we plan for, finance and invest in transportation infrastructure.


Read more...

6 development projects reshaping Bend

The Latest
Thursday, April 09, 2015
bendthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Bend has reclaimed its prerecession title as one of the fastest growing cities in the country.


Read more...

Energy Stream

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

Oregon already ranks as the nation’s second largest generator of hydroelectric power. (Washington is No. 1). Now an elegant new installation in Portland is putting an unconventional, sharing economy twist on this age-old water-energy pairing. The new system, launched this winter, uses the flow of water inside city water pipes to spin four turbines that produce electricity for Portland General Electric customers. 


Read more...

The Health Guru

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

Mohan Nair channels a visionary.


Read more...

Picture This

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

As a general rule, the more people with autism can be provided with visual cues, the better they will be able to understand and manage their environment. It’s a lesson Tom Keating learned well. The 61-year-old Eugene grant writer spent 31 years taking care of his autistic brother James, and in the late 1980s developed a spreadsheet that created a series of nonsense characters that grew or shrank depending on how much money James had in his account. 


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS