New Analysis Says Better Buildings Initiative
Would Create More Than 114,000 New Jobs
June 13, 2011
More than 114,000 new jobs, many which would come from the
construction industry, would be created through the Better
Buildings Initiative (BBI), a White House plan to make existing
commercial and multifamily buildings more energy-efficient,
according to a new analysis released today by The Real Estate
Roundtable (RER), the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and
the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). NRDC, RER and
USGBC retained the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI)
of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst to conduct the
The BBI, announced by President Obama in February, combines
financial and other incentives to improve energy efficiency
in the nation's commercial and multifamily buildings stock.
The biggest job driver in the BBI, which accounts for more
than 77,000 of the new jobs, is a redesigned tax deduction for
energy efficiency upgrades of buildings. The joint analysis
also shows how the initiative would have a rippling effect throughout
the economy to generate more manufacturing, production, and
service jobs - and demonstrating how public funds can leverage
significant private investments to expand the benefits to the
According to Heidi Garrett-Peltier from PERI, "We don't
have a timeframe on the jobs that are mentioned in the report;
a lot are construction jobs a lot are manufacturing jobs so
long as the funding continues the jobs are there."
"This Obama Initiative works for our economy in two important
ways: it helps create tens of thousands of good-paying jobs
while making us more energy-efficient," says Jeffrey D.
DeBoer, chief executive officer and president of RER. "Unemployment
in the construction sector continues to hover above 16 percent.
Lending is still difficult to come by in many markets, so financial
incentives like these proposed by the White House will leverage
private investment to help propel our cities and suburbs forward
into a new energy economy." He adds, "This is one
federal initiative we think will put people back to work."
"The BBI will achieve multiple benefits with an amplifying
effect - first and foremost, the initiative will create green
jobs," adds Roger Platt, senior vice president of global
policy & law with USGBC. "This program will also lower
energy consumption, reduce our nation's dependence on foreign
oil and allow America to retain its competitive edge in the
international marketplace as a leader in constructing, retrofitting
and operating high-performing buildings."
Platt expects the BBI will allow jobs to be created by the
entire supply chain of companies that produce the product "for
this next generation of building."
"[This] has the potential to accelerate what is already
a nascent retrofitting building revolution," Platt says.
"The BBI helps fill the country's need for targeted programs
with well-defined jobs creation goals," says Ashok Gupta,
senior energy economist with the NRDC. "This plan will
help bring lenders into the retrofit market to provide financing
for commercial building efficiency projects."
Duane Desiderio, vice president of RER, notes, "No pay
source has been identified for this particular program,"
but adds, "we know that leaders from both parties are looking
for creative ideas to generate jobs."
Desiderio notes that the analysis was brought to President
Obama's attention earlier today.
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