If we want this process moving, we need incentives... Some of these may be extreme, and could use a lot of discussion, likely major tweaking, and certainly are not the only options, but here goes:
Here's a few, starting with passing a few general laws:
- require all new window installations (and all existing windows starting in 2020) to have thermally sensitive solar films and a minimum efficiency rating
- start systematically increasing EnergyStar rating targets.
- Require all plug-in adapters for personal electronics to use no power when the device is not attached or fully charged and powered off.
- Increase the minimum SEER rating for AC units (again)
- Require all single family home construction to include solar generation for not less than 50% of it's expected energy use in any market where this system could pay itself off in less than 10 years from electric bill savings alone at current rates. (some locations due to weather cycles, daylight hours, or shade from hill or other immovable object should be exempt)
- make the sale of all incandescent lights illegal, and require LED over CF where applicable (night lights, etc)
- Guarantee financing for any vehicle being traded in for a more efficient vehicle if the new car payment will be the same or less than the existing car payment, including estimated fuel cost savings (old payment was $300, new payment could be up to $400 assuming $100/month savings at the pump). Guarantee this regardless of credit rating, so long as the current vehicle is in good standing with a bank. For those not currently making payments, guarantee financing for any vehicle purchased that will have a $100 or less monthly payment plus fuel cost savings, provided a downpayment of 25% of the vehicles fair market value is paid, along with all taxes, title, etc. Lock interest rates at prime plus 4% for this purpose unless their credit rating provides a better rate under existing finance laws.
- make it illegal to resell a passenger vehicle that gets less than 50% of the current MPG peak for new vehicles of in its class. Their fair market value will be set at ther scrap/recyclable value for trade-in.
- require tire pressure sensors in all new vehicles.
- Require 25% of all vehicles sold in 2012 to have CVT transmissions, 50% in 2013, 75% by 2014, and 100% by 2015.
- Require power companies to buy excess power from you that you generate at the same $/KWH that you are billed for.
A few tax incentives for folks and businesses:
- Government subsidy for solar panel installaltion up to $5000 / 1000 sqft heated home space, or 50% of total solar solution cost, whichever is greater, assuming the solution will pay itself back by power bill reduction within 12 years. (the limit should keeps nuts in Alaska from trying to install solar panels)
- When trading in a car for a newer model (new or used purchase) provide a one time tax rebate equal to $100 for each MPG the new purchase is more efficient than the traded in vehicle.
- allow 100% of all interest paid for financing a home efficiency project (new windows, upgraded insulation, solar installation, etc) to be tax deductable.
- Tax rebate of $500 anually for each employee converted into a telecommutor. (prorated for the number of months of employment in such a position)
- $3500 tax rebate towards the purchase of a plug-in electric commuter class (sub compact) vehicle
- Eliminate 50% (or more) of toll charges for any vehicle traveling commuter freeways with 3 or more occupants inside.
- 2% energy bill discount, if you allow your thermostat to be monitored by the power company for load balancing (so they can cut off your AC or heat for not more than 30 minutes per 12 hour period in order to load balance the power grid). This should be credited by the power company, not the government, since it's in their benefit for you to do this.
A few new taxes: (used to pay for incentives above. If there's extra left over, it all goes to building either a superconducting electrical grid or 100% renewable poewr plants)
- 1% additional sales tax on all household grocery purchases totaling less than $75 (penalizes those who shop more than once per week for household items) This would not apply to purchases of individually packaged items (personal size bag of chips, a cold soda, pack of gum, etc, though these items would count towards the $75 if purchased together with other items).
- 1% sales tax for each % under 87% that a power supply in an item is rated for.
- 2% federal gas tax, increasing by an additional 2% anually to 20%, then 5% per year thereafter
- Designate by purpose of vehicle (not type or class or size, but intended USE) a target MPG rating. This should be such that only 20% of the vehicles used for that purpose meet or exceed this goal. For each 1 MPG below this target for a vehicle, add 1% use tax, payable ANUALLY based on the fair market value of the vehicle. This also applies to used car purchases. This will take effect 5 years after passing. ALL vehicles will start paying this tax after 5 years (giving existing owners pleanty of time to save up and trade in before being taxed). The laws and tax incentives listed above to assist trade-ins for bad or no credit buyers should make this painless. An equivolency rating for electic cars needs to be published as well as for renewable fuel vehicles. perhaps instead of MPG, we need to look at CO2/mile, including "wells to wheels" not "tank to wheels" (accounting for production of the renewable energy source, not just it's in-vehicle efficiency).
- 2% use tax if you heat your house to above 70 or cool it below 78. (actually, to make this easier, we'll give you for free a thermostat that locks you in to these temp ranges that's compatible with your unit, and is also programable for home/away modes and allowing you to set even more environmentally concious ranges, but if you don't have one installed within 3 years, we'll add this tax to your electric bill until you prove you have installed one).