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"Retrofitting old buildings to make them more energy efficient may not sound sexy. But taking retrofits to scale could create hundreds of thousands of career-path jobs in America for the people who need them most, while addressing climate change and slashing utility bills." (PolicyLink newsletter, 12/4/12).

For the last three years, Tennessee Alliance for Progress has been linking retrofit/weatherization work to career-path jobs.  We are a key outreach partner for Mayor Dean's Nashville Energy Works (NEW) home weatherization program which has, thus far, reached only a small percentage of the 143,000 homes in Davidson County.  3,200 homes have had energy audits, 1,200 homeowners have done some work on their homes and 370 homes have reached the 15% threshold that allows homeowners to get the full $1,000 in NEW rebates.  And yet, Nashville is considered one of the top performing cities out of the 12 Southeastern cities that received Dept. of Energy funding to do weatherization work, largely because of the community outreach of Hands on Nashville and TAP.  

Our vision of addressing climate change, slashing utility bills and creating good green jobs persists. We see the tremendous number of jobs that retrofitting old homes and buildings could create and so we continue to move this vision forward, despite the recession, despite the fact that climate change was barely mentioned in the 2012 election, despite living in a red state, despite the anti-environmentalists in our state legislature.

We gave up on the state legislature after the 2010 election. We have taken our work to the hood -- East Nashville's District 5, to be exact. The goals of our Green is Alive in District 5 Energy Efficiency Demonstration Project are to weatherize 100 homes and 10 businesses in this majority-black, low- to moderate-income neighborhood, set up an Energy Efficiency Demonstration House that we can use as an office/meeting/educational space for the neighborhood and create green jobs.

We have located a building for the Demonstration House, built in 1915, stripped bare to the studs, no electricity, no plumbing, no kitchen, no bathrooms, trashed on the inside, but solid  It's located on a prominent corner of District 5 and it's been empty, we hear, for 5 years.  We are starting a capital campaign to buy and retrofit this property.  We're gonna need all the help we can get to pull this off so be on the lookout for more information on this coming your way soon.

If you want to donate to TAP, please go to www.taptn.org.  You are also invited to our Annual Meeting and Fun Raiser, 6:30 to 8:30 pm, Thursday, Dec. 13, home of Gene TeSelle, 1925 19th Avenue S.  Suggested donation:  $50 to $100+.  We will be talking a lot more about what we are doing at this event.  Please RSVP to nellrose@earthlink.net.  

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