Focus turns to green building efficiencies

| Print |  Email
Archives - April 2009
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

Editor's Letter: Tortoise and the Hare

February 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015

The day after this issue goes to press, the city of Medford will host its annual business conference. The event features Minoli Ratnatunga, co-author of the Milken Institute’s annual “Best-Performing Cities” report. Preliminary data suggests that Medford is likely to retain its No. 1 ranking among best-performing small cities for having a higher concentration of high-tech firms than the national average. 


Read more...

Corner Office: Marv LaPorte

January-Powerbook 2015
Saturday, December 13, 2014

The president of LaPorte & Associates lets us in on his day-to-day life.


Read more...

Tackling the CEO-worker pay gap

January-Powerbook 2015
Thursday, December 11, 2014
BY OREGON BUSINESS STAFF

An SEC rule targets the disparity between executive and employee compensation, reigniting a long-standing debate about corporate social responsibility.


Read more...

Old school: Paulsen's Pharmacy maintains old fashion ethos

The Latest
Thursday, December 18, 2014
121914-pharmacy-thumbBY MEGHAN NOLT

VIDEO: Under the radar — complete with a soda counter, the traditional Paulsen's Pharmacy looks to compete with big box retailers.


Read more...

Convention Wisdom

February 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

After more than a decade of wrangling, construction on a convention center hotel in Portland is slated to start this summer. But debate over project financing continues.


Read more...

4 married couples who work together

The Latest
Thursday, January 22, 2015
IMG 0020BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

They say maintaining a healthy marriage takes work. So does running a business with your spouse.


Read more...

Live, Work, Play: Amen Teter

February 2015
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Catching up with Amen Teter, Portland-based global director of action sports for Octagon Olympics & Action sports talent agency.


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