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December 05, 2011

Giving Credit Where Credit Won't Do



An article came in my e-mail box from the National Green Energy Council.

The article talked about President Obama’s Better Buildings Initiative and $4 billion of federal and private sector funds available for retrofitting government offices and businesses with energy-efficient solutions.

If you recall former President Bill Clinton mentioned this idea in an article in Newsweek. And, according to Ralph Avallone, the author of the e-mail I received, it was Sept. 23, 2008, that the National Green Energy Council proposed this in its master plan.

However, the tone of the e-mail was rather unforgiving to Congress. 

Now the council’s website is actually here (http://www.greenenergycouncil.com/) which has the word International on it, which made me turn on my sound on to see if “the Internationale” was playing in the background. It was not.

I can see why it was hard to get the initiative to be taken seriously. The website is not particularly friendly. The National Press Club event mentioned in the article has no corresponding press release, nor did I find the “Master Plan.” 

To their credit, they have classes to teach how to retrofit buildings and they clearly have some alliances.

Adding to the frustration is the way that the government backs into its $2 billion portion of this initiative. It turns out it’s a mandate at the executive level to in effect retrofit government buildings. 

In other words, just you and I can lease solar power systems at our houses with “no money down” and have the system be paid for by the energy savings, the government can do the same.

So, who should get the credit for this and how important is it? Click here to see the President talking about the initiative.

The Ygrene Energy Fund has a press release acknowledging its $100 million participation.

Abundant Power, which contributed $100 million, does not mention its participation, which is ironic since President Shannon Smith speaks at the event.

And evidently, the White House does not either.

So, let’s give Ralph Avallone credit for making the best of a frustrating situation. He has called our attention to job opportunities retrofitting government and commercial buildings.

In the U.S., we like to hear about new comprehensive solutions. The coverage this initiative got was like the initiative itself, a retrofit, but worthy of our attention.

Click here to see Avallone’s entire e-mail.


Carl Ford (News - Alert) is a partner at Crossfire Media.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

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