Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Fixing Up Houses That Will Be Sold

I attended Energy Trust Of Oregon's  3/18/2014  Portland-Area Residential Trade Ally Roundtable  meeting of the staff of ETO, with contractors, realtors and many others,  who are affected by their actions. These meetings happen about quarterly, and are open to anyone. Affected contractors attend to be told of autocratic and erratic policy changes and of valuable deals gifted to those who cooperate in the glory of Energy Trust. I try to attend every Roundtable meeting, investing a half day in monitoring and trying to affect Energy Trust actions. Those in attendance are mostly the takers of unfair and undeserved largess, which can be thousands of dollars each year in "cooperative marketing" money doled out recklessly. I do not take this dirty money.

I suppose Energy Trust is authorized to advertise its programs, with some effort at brand recognition. Using money perhaps allowed for advertising as power to enforce programs of fraud (the lies that a blower door is the means and measure of weatherization) and unauthorized and hugely expensive business adventure (creating and pushing Energy Performance Score ), is wrong. In accomplishing weatherization, no advantage shall be given to those who cooperate with Energy Trust, against those who choose a more-honest path.

To me, the highlight of this meeting was this slide. I wish this were more legible, but can state the numbers that prompt this post.

This is all Energy Trust wishes to accomplish in 2014, in what I consider its best reason to exist, promoting home weatherization.

Please compare this to a summary in my post of January 22, 2014, "Progress In Residential Weatherization? ".  

I had thought the pitiful achievement was of houses weatherized. In fact, numbers are annual totals for all measures completed. The number of houses treated in any year, is about one fourth of the table number, currently about 2000 homes per year. The biggest measure count is in replacement windows. With windows, on average there is probably one more measure for a house in that year. The same houses of diligence might pepper the list over several years where budgeted from available cash.

Where conscience in residential weatherization is the main factor in accepting the tax of our Public Purpose Fund, the performance of Energy Trust is a disgrace. At least through rebated action, we are getting nowhere in our needful quest to avert climate disaster and personal disaster when, very soon, energy costs will double and more, leaving many of us, unprepared, to freeze. The most pitiful of us will be those taking up foreclosed homes, unimproved by the monstrous bankers and their enabling politicians. Any of us with unimproved homes under onerous mortgage will find it hard to find cash to do right in weatherization.

Let us save the likes of Energy Trust Of Oregon in their unsatisfied quest to do something useful with their many millions of dollars allocated through taxes . I want Oregon to set an example for the nation in this, as we proudly did in following British Columbia to be first in USA with a responsible Bottle Bill. We need to create a State Bank, to allow our money to have useful local consequence and to be pulled back from risk in still-legal and rampant derivatives speculation. I want an Oregon State Bank to invest securely in residential weatherization and all crucial home maintenance home owners might not afford. Security is in the steady repayment of loans when homes are sold. An efficient home without maintenance gotchas sells best, to the advantage of everyone. Investments regulated in the public financing, will be better.

Consider the size of the needed allocation of State Bank funds in Oregon. If 500,000 homes were treated in measures with under ten years payback, finding on average $2,000 per home opportunity, the reserve is of $One Billion. We have $100 Billion highly at risk, as play money for Wall Street gamblers.

I think the way to begin this is to require that all sold homes have an honest basket of weatherization in them. It can be done. When each house is sold, more easily, the loan of full measures cost, is immediately repaid. The loan plan is not only for weatherization. All critical repairs must be done, including roofing, plumbing and wiring defects that impair home survival. What kind of person might oppose this plan?

At 4/2/2014 add insights of a visitor to my booth at Portland's Better Living Show, that weatherization is being sold mostly outside the control of Energy Trust. Home owners are told that work can be done at less cost, despite sacrifice of rebates. This is horrible, if true. Work not qualifying for rebates will always be the blow and go missing of real savings opportunities in  the attic floor, and worse. These dishonest contractors will always cheat on depth of their awful ruin of old attics, blocking access of an honest contractor who might have the will to repair the crime. I have only seen this situation once, a madness of cellulose. I offered to assist a suit against the contractor not named. The sorry home owner apparently chose to just go on living under his deeper trash heap, still with piles of roof debris, now buried, out of sight.

At 4/9/2018 I have struggled to recall the word regressive , as descriptive of failed policies in weatherization throughout USA, where resources apply only as rebates upon work afforded up-front, by the more-affluent. From deep within, I have been repelled by the rebates regime. I have always known, it can not deliver. Where the "poor" are pooh-poohed with cheapest, least durable weatherization, it is often delivered by a different class of contractor less supervised of integrity, and we shamefully are accepting of that. Every home like every child, is of equal standing in the collective good. We must find means that strength lifting us all, is not squandered. We must stop giving away the majority of public purpose funds, to a favored few, however random and unintentional that may be.

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