Sponsored by Lane Powell

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

Greenpeace (temporarily) prevents Shell oil ship from leaving Portland

The Latest
Thursday, July 30, 2015
hangersBY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Greenpeace activists suspended themselves from the St. John's Bridge in an attempt to prevent a ship from heading to the Arctic.


Read more...

Loose Talk

July/August 2015
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

When gossip crosses the line.


Read more...

Quake as metaphor

Linda Baker
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
071515-earthquakia-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

The Big One serves as an allegory for Portland, a city that earns plaudits for lifestyle and amenities but whose infrastructure is, literally, crumbling.


Read more...

Portland’s long-distance bike commuters

The Latest
Monday, August 03, 2015
Matt KellyresizethumbBY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

Pushing the extreme.


Read more...

House of Clarity

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Holding a Power Lunch at Veritable Quandary in downtown Portland.


Read more...

Staffing Challenge

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation with Greg Lambert, president of Mid Oregon Personnel Services.


Read more...

The Private 150: From Strength to Strength

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

Revenues in Oregon's private, for profit sector maintained solid growth as the economy continued to rebound.


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