(This is the fourth in a series of articles on the New Green Deal. The first, second and third articles can be found here, here and here.)
A primary requirement of the New Green Deal affects both housing and industry. In Section 6 (A) iii, the NGD calls for
“upgrading every residential and industrial building for state-of-the-art energy efficiency, comfort and safety;”
Per the NGD, every home and residential unit in the country will be subjected to “upgrade” to meet certain requirements. This is in addition to the changes required in traveling when no more fuel for cars is available.
Let’s take a closer look at what the housing regulation means for the country.
There are approximately 137 million housing units in America, including both homes and apartments. Each and every unit would be subject to the Green New Deal.
Homes across the nation are different in construction, age and amenities. Some are all electric, others a combination of gas and electric. Many, especially in the Northeast, use oil for heating. Others use propane gas for cooking. And some, most found in the West, use solar for electricity needs. Each will be affected differently based upon the individual home.
Homes using oil for heating will have to completely remodel how the home is heated. There will be no more heating oil allowed, so each home will need to have the system changed to an electric heating system.
Homes using natural gas supplied by utility companies have even more problems than the heating oil homes. The natural gas is used for home heating, but is also generally used for cooking and hot water. Not only will the heater need replacing, but also the hot water heater and the stove and oven. To accomplish this, there will need to be extensive re-wiring of the home, replacing the pipes carrying the natural gas to the heater, hot water heater and stove/oven. Even worse, many homes, especially in Southern California, use natural gas for air conditioning. Those will need to be replaced also.
Use wood stoves and wood products for heating homes? These will be banned because they contribute particulates into the air and cause air pollution. This is already done in many cities and counties in California.
With the banning of fossil fuel energy plants, the cost of electricity will rise significantly. The new forms of electrical generation will not be able to keep up with demand for electricity, especially if electric cars become more common. It is likely that in periods of peak demand, the hot summers and very cold winters, electric rationing will occur.
To counter electric rationing or the high cost of electricity, people will turn to solar on their homes. But solar is not a solution for half the country.
Solar requires having the roof top space for installation. But that space must face in the right directions. Having “northern exposures” will limit the use of solar, as will the time of year, amount of sunlight received, weather patterns and numerous other factors.
Geothermal or wind power? If you live in the country and have the right geographic factors, then geothermal or wind power may solve your problems for a cost………from $10,000 to $20,000 or more. If you live in the city, then geothermal or wind power is not a likely solution.
The new regulations dictate that homes be “energy efficient.” But energy efficient is more than just changing appliances and energy supply sources. The construction of the house is very determinate of how energy efficient the home is.
It can be expected that the government will set limits on energy usage, so more passive measures of energy efficiency will need to be employed to limit energy usage. This will involve using more efficient insulation in attics and walls, new energy efficient doors, and replacing all the windows in the home with new, more efficient triple paned windows.
Traditional water heaters, even the electric type, will be banned. People will begin to use the Instant Hot Water units for all their needs, cutting down on electric usage. Lighting fixtures and wattage will be reduced, with a greater demand placed upon solar window lighting strategies.
Since we now have a pretty good idea of what will be needed to make homes energy efficient under the NGD, let’s look at the real important stuff.
From the date that the NGD passes, the proposal calls for all homes to be upgraded in ten years.
Total Number of Housing Units = 137,000,000
Homes Upgraded per Year = 13,700,000
Homes Upgraded per Month = 1,141,667
Homes Upgraded per Day = 38,055
Dependent upon the fixes needed, upgrades may take from a day (least likely) to weeks or even a couple of months or longer.
But the time frame for accomplishing the remodels and upgrades do not tell the full story. Getting the work done poses major problems.
Approximately 5 million homes per year are built at this time, with the worst of times having 3.5 million built. In the building industry, there is currently a shortage of qualified people to hire for construction needs. The NGD requires 13.7 million homes per year to be upgraded, almost three times the number of homes being built per year. Where are all the new employees going to come from to do the work?
There are just not enough qualified people and companies in America to meet the demand for home remodeling in the required time. (And with all industrial and business buildings being required to be be remodeled at the same time, the problems of employment only increases.
THE PROCESS OF REMODELING A HOME
The process of remodeling a home is going to be a real mess for most homeowners. It will be time confusing, frustrating and expensive. Let’s look at this.
The first step in getting the home remodeled will be determining what needs to be done to the home to bring it up to code for the NGD. The homeowner will need to have someone come out and provide an estimate of work needed. Of course, it will not be that simple.
Companies will have to be licensed by the government to be able to do the work. The licensing process will be time consuming and filled with paperwork. The companies will have to meet government regulations including employment compliance, insurance, bonding, background checks and who knows what else.
Also required will be that each “estimator” be licensed to do the estimates. The estimator will be required to take classes so as to be able to give work estimates in compliance with the NGD. Licensing enough people as estimators will be a lengthy process itself.
Only when both the company and estimator be fully licensed and bonded, will they be able to start providing services to the community.
Once the estimate has been provided and contracts signed, the real fun begins. Homeowners are going to have to find funding for the work to begin. (No, the government will not pay for the work that they mandate.) This will be a laborious process filled with delays and denials for many. Some will not be able to be approved. (More to come on funding.)
Once the funding has been secured, the remodeling process can begin. It starts with a visit to the “planning commission” to get a permit for the remodel. Often, the contractor will need to supply written drawings of the remodel, but for simple ones, only a permit is needed. When the permit is paid for and provided, work can then begin.
The contractor’s team will come out and begin the work. Again, depending upon the complexity of the work, a building inspector will be required to come out and inspect different stages of the work. When the work is satisfactorily done, then the next stage can go forward. This process will continue until completed and approved.
FUNDING THE REMODEL
The Federal Government, meaning the House, Senate and their cronies, will be establishing the requirements that are needed to bring each home or residential unit into compliance with the NGD. They do not provide for the government to fund and pay for the remodel, leaving paying for the remodel as a burden for the homeowner to bear.
To bring each home up to compliance with the NGD, homeowners will be spending anywhere from a few hundred dollars to many thousands of dollars. In most cases, homeowners will not have the cash available and will need to take out loans for the work to be done.
Some homeowners will be able to tap the equity in their homes through second mortgages, and some may work with large companies that can provide financing through lenders that they deal with.
Many homeowners will not be able to obtain financing, especially those who live paycheck to paycheck or do not have either good credit or equity in their homes. For them, a crisis will rear its ugly head.
Since the remodels will be a requirement of the NGD, it is reasonable to believe that, just like with Obamacare, the government will require “penalties” to make people comply with the new regulations. The penalties will be severe enough to force people to comply.
People who cannot obtain the funding to make the mandated remodels will face one of two scenarios, they will either have to either sell the home, or lose it to some type of foreclosure action. There will be no other options.
As with the consequences of the banning of oil usage and the elimination of most autos, the housing industry will be similarly disrupted. There will be large scale selling of homes, with the lack of demand pushing prices down. Similarly, foreclosures will increase, further driving down prices.
New home construction will be affected also. Contractors and developers will have to incorporate new technology into the homes driving up prices. Fewer people will be able to afford the new homes, leading to a drop in home construction.
The combined effects of both the housing remodels and the loss of autos will drive the country into a “new depression” which will be far worse than 1929.
The New Green Deal will totally disrupt the economy of America for decades to come, and will effectively drive out jobs and increase homelessness. It will turn the US into a third world country.
Next up, we will look at how agriculture will be affected.
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