- Support local jobs and economies (energy efficiency jobs are always local)
- Improve the efficiency of existing building stock
- Reduce operating costs and utility bills, so that homeowners and building owners will have that money to use elsewhere in the economy
- Provide the environmental benefit of burning less fossil fuels.
The other problem is that the money was layered. DOE targeted the money to states and localities, who were supposed to develop plans for how to use it. Many of those states and localities then hired consulting firms to help them develop plans. Given the procurement process to get those contracts in place, time kept passing by--and it still is.
Also, a lot of the money was targeted in small amounts to small places, which seems nice and egalitarian. Unfortunately, in small amounts, much of the money would end up getting pissed away just getting these places up to speed or putting in place the staffing or contractors who would be capable of doing the work. I'll post another blog on this topic shortly.
So here we are--92% of the money is still lying around. Used fairly intelligently it could make a huge difference. Even if 5% got wasted, it's still worth getting out there.