Energy and Transportation

Making MUSH Energy Efficient

Today's economy needs widespread high-road job creation. COWS lays out a road map for how to make this happen through retrofitting the nation's public and institutional buildings for greater energy efficiency, financing these retrofits through the savings achieved, and requiring local-hire and strong labor standards for those who do the work.

Energy and transporation are basic social and economic needs. Providing affordable choices to meet these needs is an important responsibility of government. However, many of the solutions conceived during the early and mid-20th century are no longer economically or environmentally sustainable today. Through our energy and transportation initiatives, COWS works to promote new solutions that reduce waste and capture locally the value of doing so. Our programs are designed to create high-road jobs for those who need it most, build overall community wealth, and benefit the environment.


Initiatives

  • The Efficiency Cities Network is an informal policy learning network of government staff, researchers and technical assistance providers, and NGOs currently active in or committed to making scaled efforts at high-road energy retrofits of urban building stock. We have convened over 1,000 people to share best practices in high-road energy efficiency policy and program design. We host bi-weekly calls on topics ranging from financing, to program design and case studies, to outreach strategies and marketing. Anyone who wants to learn or contribute to these discussions is welcome.

  • The Cooperative Home Energy Efficiency Retrofit Program (CHERP) is a partnership with COWS, the Wisconsin Electrical Cooperative Association, and three rural electrical cooperatives to design and pilot a retrofit finance program that will improve coop members' buildings and allow them to pay for energy efficiency improvements as a service on their utility bill.
  • Retrofitting the nation's public and institutional buildings for greater energy efficiency, financing these retrofits from the savings achieved, and requiring local-hire and job advancement standards for those who do the work can provide the widespread high-road job creation needed in today's economy. COWS works with cities, states and other NGOs to promote Energy Efficiency in Public Buildings by providing policy research and analysis as well as technical assistance on energy efficiency program design, implementation, and financing. Please email Satya Rhodes-Conway for more information.

  • COWS is a leader in Innovative Energy Efficiency Programs for Cities, consulting with municipalities around the country to help establish whole-house retrofit programs that save energy and create jobs. COWS staff provide technical assistance on energy efficiency program design, implementation, and financing. Please email Satya Rhodes-Conway.
  • Working with CEOs at state DOTs, the State Smart Transportation Initiative (SSTI) promotes "smart transportation" practices that promote environmental sustainability and equitable economic development while maintaining high standards of governmental efficiency and transparency.

  • COWS is a national thought leader on the innovation required to build shared prosperity into an emerging green economy. For more on jobs and skills in clean energy sectors, see Greener Jobs.