Earlier this October, we celebrated the news that the Obama administration would be installing solar panels on the roof of the White House after a campaign led by 350.org and our friends at Sungevity to solarize 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. But we knew that the real changes needed to happen in houses across America: the White House installment is only as important as the momentum it provides for retrofits across America.

That's why we're excited to see today's announcement by US Vice-President Joe Biden about a new program for Americans to make their homes more energy efficient. The program, aptly called Retrofit for Recovery, will provide new software for contractors to show homeowners how much energy they can save, provide low-cost financing for the retrofits, and ensure quality work through a new set of standards.

This is the type of government program that helps Americans get to work in their homes and communities. In his announcement at the White House, Biden said the program would give citizens "the tools they need to invest in home energy upgrades. Together, these programs will grow the home retrofit industry and help middle-class families save money and energy."

Individual programs are no replacement for a price on carbon and comprehensive federal climate legislation. If we're going to secure real progress at the US and international level, it will take more than energy efficiency programs. At the same time, efforts like Retrofit for Recovery are important steps. It's a way for the government and citizens to get to work — right now — on the types of solutions that take us all forward. 

Click here to read more about the program in the LA Times. 


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