My City Paper column on November 17 dealt with the need to get federal money into the campaign to retrofit American homes, for the sake of the economy and the environment. A reader just sent me an interesting piece of news from New York City about a program to retrofit homes and other buildings using private money and local foundations in an array of partnerships. Maybe we could get something like that started in Charleston. Maybe the loudmouths who decry using federal money for anything but building air craft carriers and cruise missiles could organize it and get it started. But their skills are probably limited to complaining and criticizing what the rest of us do to make this country work. But I digress...
Here is the site and below is a clip. Take a look: http://prattcenter.net/retrofit-nyc-block-block
Retrofit NYC Block by Block packages and explains financial incentive programs that cover some (and sometimes all) of the costs of energy upgrades. These include incentives from the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA), Con Edison, National Grid, the Weatherization Assistance Program and tax incentives. Retrofit NYC Block by Block also helps build new partnerships with job training organizations and contractors to create employment opportunities for community residents.
Retrofit NYC Block by Block was piloted in 2009-'10 as Retrofit Bedford Stuyvesant, in partnership with Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation. The Pratt Center has published a report, "Retrofit Bedford Stuyvesant, Block by Block: 2009-2010 Pilot Summary Report," summarizing the impact of the pilot phase and drawing lessons for future outreach efforts.