(MADISON, Wisconsin) – Today, Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway, Wisconsin Housing Preservation Corp Assistant Vice President Rob Dicke, and Chief Strategy Officer at Elevate Energy Abby Corso joined affordable housing advocates for a virtual press conference calling on the U.S. Senate to fund energy efficiency for affordable housing, a critical investment that was included in the $550 billion climate package passed by the House of Representatives.
These proposals will provide low-wealth communities and homeowners across Wisconsin with crucial resources to improve energy efficiency and prepare their homes to withstand the impacts of climate change. Core policies that will benefit Wisconsin families include robust rebates that will allow homeowners and contractors to invest in energy efficiency – which will reduce energy use and help them save on future energy bills. This package also includes $150 billion for the construction, rehabilitation, and improvement of more than 1 million affordable homes – boosting housing supply across the country with safe, high-quality, and energy-efficient homes.
“The proposed climate investments are not abstract policy, but real resources that will positively impact people’s lives in cities like Madison,” said Mayor Rhodes-Conway. “We have an opportunity to reduce emissions while also helping families across Wisconsin and the US make much needed energy efficiency retrofits to save energy and money. This is transformative legislation both for climate and families, and we need the Senate to pass it as soon as possible.”
These measures and the broader climate package under consideration will also provide major investments in local economies and create thousands of good-paying union jobs. Prior to the pandemic, clean energy jobs were already growing faster than the economy as a whole, and a federal climate package will create 74,000 additional jobs over the next five years. These are high-quality long term jobs in industries that are outpacing the overall economy in unionization, compensation, and benefits.
“These investments offer massive potential economic growth, stimulus for local industries, and will create tens of thousands of high-quality long term jobs in Wisconsin,” said Dicke. “This bill is crucial for our climate but will be a major boost to new construction, renovation, and manufacturing. This offers a major step forward for working people that will also deliver savings on energy bills for families across our state, and we’re counting on our leaders in Washington to pass this package and get that done.”
Speakers also thanked Senator Tammy Baldwin for her past support for infrastructure and climate investments, and urged her to continue pushing her colleagues to pass this bill. Efficiency programs have often been out of reach for low-wealth communities, and the Senate has an opportunity to address that inequity and create long term economic growth in Wisconsin.
“Residents living in affordable housing deserve comfortable, healthy, and efficient homes, and we’re committed to making that happen through energy efficiency and electrification upgrades, said Abby Corso. “The proposed federal incentives for these housing improvements will allow us to upgrade even more homes across Madison.”
A video of the press conference can be found HERE (enter passcode: ?cergxN8).