I believe that a combination of tax credits, rebates, low interest start up loans and federal subsidies, and an effort to encourage state and local compliance and cooperation should be used to help small, independent businesses with the goal of improving residential home energy efficiency.
Helping residences get up to date weatherization, improve the efficiency of the appliances, perhaps adding solar panels and/or other alternative, sustainable energy sources will help the homeowners reduce their yearly energy costs, help the contractors provide employment, help the manufacturers by creating a demand.
Tax credits or rebates should be made available for residential alternative energy installations, even when the new installation won't pay for itself in the short run. Every kilowatt hour not provided by the existing grid helps our country break its dependence on foreign oil, as does every house that improves its weatherization, appliance efficiency, etc.
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