Obama’s Winterization Program Is A Flop

By Todd Fratzel on Windows

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

Window CaulkingPart of the now famous American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is a $5 billion program to install weather-tight windows and doors. The program was touted as having several benefits including making homes more energy efficient and putting people back to work. According to the AP, the program has so far been anything but a success.

We’re really not all that surprised at this news. I don’t seldom like to bring politics to this site but some of the news out of Washington over the last week or so has me feeling a bit different. It seems the current Administration feels they can change the course of history with all these “programs”.

There’s no doubt that winterizing homes and installing replacement windows are great for home owners and the environment. However, we think the best way to do this is by putting the money directly into the hands of the home owners and letting them spend it. Let the home owners hire local trades to insulate and replace windows instead of creating more government run wasteful jobs.

“A very rosy picture was painted that energy efficiency would be a great way to create jobs and save money,” said Michael Shellenberger, an energy expert who heads the Breakthrough Institute, an Oakland-based think tank that is financed by nonpartisan foundations and works on energy, climate change and health care issues. “The Obama administration risks overpromising again.”

According to the article only about 30,000 homes have been retrofitted over the last year since the program started. Even worse is the fact that the program has fallen well short of the 87,000 new jobs it was supposed to create.

Frankly I think they should extend the current window, insulation and furnace credits and make it even easier for home owners to update their homes to make them more energy efficient. We’ve witnessed many home owners taking advantage of those credits and seeing all the jobs they create. I guess the Administration felt they needed another program to help expand their workforce!

Photo Credit: wyldkyss

About the author

Todd Fratzel

I'm full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I'm also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tool Box Buzz. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you'd like to inquire about advertising on this site.

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  1. Deborah says:

    I so agree. It’s another example of wasteful spending going into government worker hands and nothing more. So sad.

  2. I stood up and cheered when I read your post!

    I’m building a new home. If the government would keep its grubby paws off my money, I could buy better windows — if I chose to.

    Instead, this is their “job stimulus” program.

    Take money from those who earn it.

    Funnel it through a couple of bureaucracies (siphoning off money along the way).

    Create a Window Corp of Installers.

    Pay them higher-than-actual-skill-level union wages plus triple pay for overtime and guaranteed vacation and pension up the whazoo.

    Install window that other people pay for for four times the usual cost.

    • Todd says:

      Alison – I really didn’t want to write something like that…however…after last weeks vote on Health Care I’m very tired of keeping quiet on the failures of this administration and the current lame congress. I suppose it’s time we all start speaking up.

  3. Detroit, MI could sure use this help.

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