Thursday, December 10, 2009

Now the sequel, "Cash For Caulkers"

An idea that accomplishes several things at once is usually a really good one. The Prez just proposed such a concept this week, which had already been dubbed "Cash For Caulkers." The clunky name, of course, is a follow-up to "cash for clunkers," which either was or wasn't a highly successful program depending on who you read, but certainly succeeded as an instant cliché.

The new program, the idea for which came from both Bill Clinton and John Doerr, the famed Silicon Valley venture capitalist, would reimburse homeowners for weatherization projects: ka-ching. It would therefore put builders and contractors, affected by the recent lack of a housing market, back to work: ka-ching!

And the more homes you make energy efficient, the less fuel is burned to heat them, and the climate gets a little breather. (Imagine this one as a ka-ching heard from a distance; so's the first one, probably.) Save money, help the climate by reducing energy use, create some useful work for under-employed people. Not bad.

"The housing bust has idled contractors and construction workers, who could be put to work insulating homes and caulking air leaks. Many households, meanwhile, would save substantial money — not to mention help the climate — by weatherizing their homes."
A Stimulus That Could Save Money, by David Leonhardt, NY Times
Details to follow from Washington, and we all know the devil's in there (the details, he meant), but on paper it looks like a good place to invest a couple of bil — okay, 23 billion. Some of those details to be considered: in the Times blogpost on the story, a commenter named Henry Challe wrote that homeowners should hire a pro to "conduct a Blower Door Test... to quantify a home's leakage. During the test, the auditor should then use a thermal imaging camera to locate these leaks."

The prospective program also more than fulfills our pressing need to put some of our finest clichés back to work: I've already read that it's a win-win no-brainer picking the low-hanging fruit, etc., and the masters of the obvious have only gotten started on this one. We confidently predict that they will leave no cliché unturned. (Ka-ching!)
Cash for Caulkers could seal $12,000 a home
By Steve Hargreaves,

Cash for Caulkers” Could Deliver $23B for Home Energy Efficiency
- Reuters
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