President Obama confirms it’s time to save energy during meeting with Mark Andrews
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|Jun 08, 2010
What began as a call from the White House led to Knauf Insulation North America CEO Mark Andrews and Vice-President of Marketing Joey Viselli flying to Savannah, Georgia to meet with US President Barack Obama on Tuesday morning, March 2. The White House reached out to Knauf Insulation in recognition of our strong advocacy for HOMESTAR and asked that Mark Andrews meet with President Obama about the pending legislation prior to his nationally-televised speech on the subject. Joining Mark were four other key business leaders including Larry Laseter, President of MASCO Home Services, a loyal Knauf customer.
HOMESTAR is a program designed to create jobs and deliver energy efficiency across the United States. It will use government rebates to help American homeowners make energy efficient home improvements while putting thousands of construction workers back to work.
Mark Andrews was able to personally deliver our message of support to President Obama, assuring the President that the insulation industry is solidly behind HOMESTAR. In his meeting with President Obama, Mark reinforced the message that it’s time to save energy, and it’s time to put Americans back to work. Mark also quipped that, as the President had already declared that insulation was “sexy”, now is the time for Americans to embrace and marry it. In fact, adding insulation is the quickest and easiest way to save energy, and can reduce homeowner heating and cooling costs by over 20%.
A world leader in energy efficiency
It comes as no surprise that the White House would recognize Knauf Insulation for our support: “We have been a visible and effective leader in bringing people together to support the President’s HOMESTAR initiative by focusing on the need for greater energy efficiency at the national and local level. For example, Knauf Insulation led the formation of the Council of the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (CNAIMA) to bring the nation’s major insulation manufacturers together to provide a single, unified voice to promote energy efficiency”, says Joey Viselli.
Knauf Insulation is also a leading member of several broad-based groups dedicated to passing HOMESTAR legislation and improving America’s energy efficiency, including a Founders-level affiliate of the Alliance to Save Energy and an active supporter of the Efficiency First HOMESTAR Coalition for energy efficiency and job creation.
Meeting President Obama is recognition that Knauf Insulation is fast becoming the world leader in energy efficient systems for buildings, not just through its products, but by actively driving for the legislation needed to reduce the energy consumption of buildings. The meeting is proof that our affiliation with such groups is making a positive impact and represents just one example of such active participation which is currently taking place across regions.
As Mark Andrews summarizes, “Our leadership within these groups, and through our affiliation with other organizations such as the Building Energy Efficiency Code Network, the National Association of States’ Energy Officials, the US Green Building Council, and the Carbon War Room is focused on driving energy efficiency in buildings and growing the business for our customers. It’s time to save energy, and it is clearly our responsibility to make it happen.”
HOMESTAR uses incentives to encourage homeowners to make energy efficient investments in their homes in return for substantial government rebates. Homeowners who invest in building insulation, mechanical systems, energy efficient appliances, and whole-home energy efficiency retrofits will be eligible for incentives and rebates.
The programme is currently proposed as a part of the U.S. Senate’s jobs agenda for America, investing $6 billion in the form of incentives, matched by private investment, to generate three million home retrofits and tens of thousands of jobs across the United States. The President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board has unanimously recommended HOMESTAR as a strategy for near-term job creation.
In addition to the economic and environmental savings, the HOMESTAR program will create jobs. Unemployment in the residential construction segment stands at 24.7 percent in the U.S. HOMESTAR will create 168,000 jobs in skilled manufacturing and construction that can’t be outsourced. “Construction-related manufacturing is running at less than 65 percent of capacity,” says Knauf Insulation vice-president of marketing Joey Viselli. “Producing these energy-saving products will re-start factories across the country and take advantage of capacity that is immediately available while putting skilled contractors back to work.”
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