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Obama wants to reduce your energy bill

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TEXT OF STORY

Steve Chiotakis: We live in a world of high-tech energy fixes, so when I mention home weatherization, you're probably like, wow, what's the big deal? Well, retrofitting your home to save energy costs has caught the attention of President-elect Barack Obama. From the Marketplace Sustainability desk, here's Sam Eaton reports.


Sam Eaton: Obama's promise to weatherize a million low-income homes would increase current federal funding sevenfold.

But Brian Keane with Smart Power, a nonprofit marketing group, says when it comes to improving energy efficiency, money isn't the main issue.

Brian Keane: Number one, it's a messaging challenge, because people don't yet understand the opportunity involved with conservation and efficiency.

That opportunity being money saved. Through simple fixes like sealing drafty windows and attics, many homeowners could cut their energy bills by as much as 30 percent. Keane says in today's economy, few investments match that kind of return. It's just a matter of breaking down the numbers.

Keane: We have to start talking in the terms and the language that the American people can understand and when we do, then the lightbulb will go off, no pun intended.

And it's not just homeowners who benefit. A weatherization ramp-up would also create green collar jobs -- an estimated 78,000 of them if Obama comes through.

In Los Angeles, I'm Sam Eaton for Marketplace.

About the author

Sam Eaton is an independent radio and television journalist. His reporting on complex environmental issues from climate change to population growth has taken him all over the United States and the world.

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