As per Re-Energizing ... ENERGIZE AMERICA ..., the Energize America team (and all of Daily Kos) has been asked by a senior member of Congress to develop elements of the plan for introduction as legislation in the Congress. To start with, we plan to develop 5-10 concept papers, fleshed out as best we can with community input, for then working with legislative counsel and other Congressional resources to arrive at the actual legislative initiatives.
Re-Energizing ... ENERGIZE AMERICA has the full list of Energize America Acts that we plan to develop. At this time, we are still developing our team approach (volunteers, comments, other contributions VERY WELCOME) and developing the plan for strengthening the Energize America 2020 as a home base for this activity.
This is a final draft (please) of The Neighborhood Power Act one-page summary.
Join the conversation after the fold ... let us know what you think ... what we’re missing ... what is right here ...
The Community-Based Energy Investment Act
(THE 2007 NEIGHBORHOOD POWER ACT)
To enable state and local communities to create community-based energy programs, suited to their locations and available resources, by combining low-interest private financing with Federal technical and financial assistance.
The Community-Based Energy Investment Act, the Neighborhood Power Act of 2007 will provide funding for
- energy-saving investments and
- renewable energy production
- via bonds that will be repaid using financial savings due to increased energy efficiency and the generation of renewable power, while simultaneously lowering overall community energy costs.
This program will build on successful precedents around the country, where communities have used bonds to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy programs. Structured so that the combination of energy savings and renewable energy production exceeds the value of the bond, these programs have enabled communities to invest in a more affordable and more sustainable energy future. (San Francisco's Vote Solar program is a model for this effort.)
Such dual efficiency/production programs can provide annual returns of well over ten percent, providing a path for continuing investments in these arenas.
The federal government shall establish within the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) the "Local Energy Bond Office" (LEBO) composed of experts on bond financing structuring and energy efficiency paybacks to work with local and state governments , which generally do not have and cannot afford such expertise.
The HUD LEBO will assist in structuring program elements, including but not limited to:
- performing technical surveys
- balancing the efficiency and production elements of projects, and
- offering bond model options.
Under this Act, project financing would come from:
- Local and state government bonds;
- Local funding;
- Federal matching funds of up to ten percent (10%) of total program funds, matching local funding levels. (Special provisions will exist for redevelopment zones and other financially-stressed American communities which have lower thresholds for local financing.)
HUD LEBO's charter will include structuring programs so that the value of the project's energy savings and renewable power generation will be greater than the funds required to pay back the loans.
The Act will
- enable local communities to launch energy projects most suited to local requirements and conditions (such as weather, availability of resources, commercial and/or residential energy needs, and presence of specialized local competences or industries).
- foster reduced pollution in local communities
- foster a more resilient power system in the face of either man-made or natural disaster.
- facilitate up to $10 billion per year of local and state investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy production through the allocation of only $1 billion in seed money
- WILL CREATE JOBS AND GENERATE LOCAL/STATE/FEDERAL TAX REVENUE THROUGH INCREASED ECONOMIC ACTIVITY -- [NOTE: NEED TO ADD INFORMATION/CONCEPTS RE JOB CREATION AND FEDERAL TAX REVENUE. SEE QUESTIONS AT END OF DIARY]
- spur the development of public and private sector expertise and capabilities in energy efficiency to meet both public and private requirements.
- spur the development of public and private sector expertise and capabilities in renewable energy for design, construction, installation, and maintenance of these systems.
- provide a strong market environment welcoming and encouraging appropriate new technologies and approaches for energy efficiency and renewable energy in all climate regions of the United States.
The Federal Government will invest $1.1 billion dollars per year in energy efficiency and renewable energy programs for state and local governments across the United States through the Community-Based Energy Investment Act. Each year, $1 billion per year will be dedicated as matching funds to local and state governments. An additional $100 million per year will fund the administrative functions, including the provision of the expertise required to assist local and state governments.
- JOB CREATION: What is a reasonable estimate as to job creation? If one estimates $200,000 per job created through this program, this would translate roughly into 50,000 additional jobs (direct) created. There are also the indirect effects (manufacturing jobs, restaurants, shops, etc through cycling the funds).
- TAX / FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS: And, with this additional job creation and business activity, what is likely implication for Federal tax revenue? (And, if someone can go further, what about indirect/multiplicative implications through labor spending money in the community?) Would, perhaps, 50% of total funding be going for labor? Thus, perhaps $700 million in employment taxes and another $700 million in federal tax revenue. (Subtracting out, however, the tax-free status of municipal bonds – which means reduction in tax revenue by perhaps $200 million / year.) And, due to the $1 billion, US debt obligations would be increasing roughly $55 million per year. Totaling this very rough estimate, in other words, to a balancing out of Federal tax revenue with the additional federal outlays.
Please note that the Energize America 2020 team is well aware of the numerous and tremendous plans for a better energy future such as the Apollo Alliance and the NRDC's A Responsible Energy Plan for America. As far as our work has discerned, the concepts of The Neighborhood Power Act are unique -- especially in the focus of leveraging minor assistance from the Federal Government to spark energy efficiency and renewable energy programs throughout state and local governments across the United States.
- For background, see also Jerome a Paris' truly excellent Energize America coming to Congress. You can help.
- The EA2020 (still developing, re-energizing) team is forming a concept that different individuals will take lead responsibility for individual acts. Look at Re-Energizing ... ENERGIZE AMERICA ..., see if you want to get involved in a greater way than simply providing magnificent comments in posts. Join the team ... and, perhaps, take the lead on part of the effort.
- See ENERGIZE AMERICA: NEIGHBORHOO POWER ACT, DRAFT TWO for additional material, beyond the summary along with extensive commentary.
- Consider joining the new, improved Daily Kos Environmentalists community / listserve.
- You care about a better tomorrow, sit up and face the facts that today's (this century's) reality is: THE Progressive Crises: Global Warming and Peak Oil
- Answer the Call to turn us (US and the world) away from a catastrophic path on Global Warming.
- And ... Imagine Life Differently ... Imagine it Better ... And Seek to create that better life
-- AND FINALLY --
Many thanks to the members of the EA2020 team, but especially Karen Werhstein (check her art out, its cool) and Mataliandy who greatly strengthened this. If/when they post, please make sure to Tip/Mojo them, because they deserve it.