Home weatherization has grown 1000% due to a large investment in the Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) made under the federal stimulus, ThinkProgress reports.
In addition to saving low-income families an average of $400 in energy costs in the first year alone, the WAP has created thousands of jobs. Over 89% of the materials used in the WAP program are American-made, and 91% of the businesses performing the weatherization projects are local, small businesses. In the three-month period between April and June 2011, WAP reported the creation of 14,800 jobs alone, and is projected to create 650,000 permanent jobs in the next ten years. Ultimately, for every $1 dollar invested in the program, American taxpayers saw a return of $2.51.
The recent report underscores the point made by Microsoft founder Bill Gates last week—that investment in clean energy infrastructure is critical to our nation’s economic vitality and must be aggressively pursued.