Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Local Towns Setting Green Policy Solution Trends

The N.Y. Times reports on innovative policy solutions that suburban towns are developing to incentivize sustainable living and business practices, and help people afford things like energy efficiency upgrades that both reduce pollution and benefit public health:

FOR two years, Valerie Williams had been considering making the five-bedroom home she grew up in more energy efficient — hoping to shrink her $350 monthly utility bill — but more pressing expenses always came first.

Then the town of Babylon came up with an offer she couldn’t refuse: if she and her husband, Carlos, paid $250 for an energy audit, the town would finance the recommended upgrades. The couple would repay the town at a monthly rate below the savings on their utility bill. The audit, done this month, found that by insulating walls, basement and attic, at a cost of $6,879, the Williamses could save about $1,300 a year.

“This is a program that helps the environment, helps homeowners save money, creates local jobs, reduces our reliance on fossil fuels and it’s at no cost to taxpayers,” said Steve Bellone, Babylon’s town supervisor.

I love reading about local solutions like this.  It's often at the local level where these types of programs are easiest to implement, politically, and can serve as test cases for scaling solutions up to state and national levels, where the politics of...everything...is more contentious.  

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