Now

Season 2008 Episode 03.28.08

Save Energy, Money and the Planet

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Aired Friday 9:00 PM Mar 28, 2008 on PBS
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Save Energy, Money and the Planet
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Could a new effort to fight global warming save money and create jobs at the same time? NOW looks at a city-wide plan in Cambridge, Massachusetts to make all their buildings more energy efficient. Up to 80% of emissions in many urban cities comes from buildings. Cambridge hopes that this unprecedented effort to "green" its buildings will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by ten percent in just five years, the equivalent of taking 33,000 cars off the road. If every major city in America took the same approach, it would have a significant impact on the carbon footprint of the U.S. -- and it would generate tens of millions of new "green" jobs. The Cambridge Energy Alliance, a non-profit group, will help clients cut their energy use 15-30%, which translates into a lower utility bill. The Alliance will then help clients secure loans to pay for the building retrofits, loans designed to pay themselves off by the savings on those utility bills. Retrofitting thousands of buildings could also create a new green job market in Cambridge. It's a bold new experiment, but the Alliance hopes to become a national model that puts green thinking on display, as well as more green in people's pockets. Will this entrepreneurial effort bring new converts to the environmental movement?moreless
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