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

Three problems with Obama's immigration order

News
Wednesday, November 26, 2014

BY NISHANT BHAJARIA | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR112614-immigration-thumb

By now, anyone who knows about it has a position on President Obama’s executive order on immigration. The executive order is the outcome of failed attempts at getting a bill through the normal legislative process. Both Obama and his predecessor came close, but not close enough since the process broke down multiple times.


Read more...

Dan and Louis Oyster Bar opens up to a changing neighborhood

The Latest
Thursday, December 11, 2014
121114-oystervidBy MEGHAN NOLT

VIDEO: Revamping a Classic — an iconic eatery stays relevant in a changing marketplace.


Read more...

Powerbook Perspective

January-Powerbook 2015
Friday, December 12, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

A conversation with Oregon state economist Josh Lehner.


Read more...

Two Sides of the Coin

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
22 twosidesBY JASON NORRIS

Historically, when the leaves fall, so do the markets. This year, earnings, Europe, energy and Ebola have in common? Beyond alliteration, they are four factors that the investors are pointing to for this year’s seasonal volatility.


Read more...

The Bookseller

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Everyone knows college is expensive, but a look at the numbers brings that into sharp — and painful — focus.


Read more...

Corner Office: Timothy Mitchell

January-Powerbook 2015
Saturday, December 13, 2014

A look-in on the life of Norris & Stevens' president.


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