Imagine if the government created an incentive for near-net zero housing.

It has become clear to me that if the ICF industry is to grow, we’ll have to do it ourselves.

The Federal government has done—and will do—nothing. Pres. Obama’s “stimulus” package contained virtually nothing for the residential and light commercial building sectors, and “frozen” credit markets refuse to unthaw despite the hundreds of billions of dollars spent on the problem. In truth, lending standards are tighter now than it was before “Geithner’s gift” to his investment bank cronies.

When Obama talks about energy independence, he’s not talking about reduced energy use. He is  talking about pouring billions into wind and solar power companies, and a complete rebuild of the nation’s energy grid using “smart circuits.” 

That’s not what this country needs. Besides costing hundreds of billions of dollars, which the nation doesn’t have, it won’t solve the core problem: We live in inefficient buildings.

Imagine if the government created an incentive for near-net zero housing. Or if it would subsidize retrofitting existing buildings to net-zero standards. Construction would be revitalized. Consumers would choose which products and companies succeeded, instead of the government. And most importantly, it would make a real difference.

I’m pessimistic that a proposal as rational as this would get any traction in Washington, so we’ll have to create growth ourselves. Randy Wilkerson explains how to get involved (and why) on p. 23. Other stories explain how to get more from thinner ICF walls, and where to find funding.

All of these writers will be explaining their ideas in greater detail at the ICFA show in November. I’ll see you there!