From an introduction to a guide just released by the Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS) and Green for All:

Green For All and COWS have just released A Short Guide to Setting Up a City-Scale Retrofit Program. This guide provides a model for designing and implementing energy efficiency retrofitting programs on a citywide scale, with a goal of making these retrofits available to more households and providing good, entry-level jobs with career pathways that are accessible to low-income communities and communities of color.

Energy efficiency retrofits of our homes, schools, and workplaces are the first steps to building an inclusive clean energy economy by addressing climate change, putting people in careers, and reducing working families’ energy bills. Despite their overwhelming economic and environmental benefits, current retrofitting programs have limited capacity and limited scope. Many are available only to income-eligible individuals, or to those with the money up-front to do the work. Furthermore, many current retrofitting programs only create low-wage, short-term jobs, rather than providing pathways into sustainable careers in construction and green building.

Clearly, a new model is needed. This guide is a tool for local organizations, business leaders, entrepreneurs, elected officials, and others in cities across the country to use to promote energy efficiency in their communities. It outlines all of the important aspects of such a program, including policies, labor standards, community coalitions, and long-term funding options.