When president Obama spoke at an Alexandria, Va., Home Depot store today, windows took center stage and their insulation properties, along with other building materials, were deemed “sexy.”

“What’s sexy about it” asked the president. “Saving money.”

The comments were made as a part of a speech the president made to encourage homeowners and consumers to invest in energy-efficient building products so that they might receive the tax credits—and to spur the building industry’s rebound.

“If you saw $20 bills escaping out of your windows and up into the atmosphere, you’d try to figure out how to keep them,” said Obama,” but that’s exactly what’s happening because of the lack of efficiency in our buildings. So what we want to do is stimulate consumer spending, because folks buy energy-efficient items from stores like this one.”

He pointed out that convincing consumers to invest in energy-efficient doors and windows (and other items) could be the encouragement the industry needs too.

“It takes hundreds of dollars off their electric bills each year and produces hundreds of jobs in the process,” said the president.

But, in tight times, he noted that it’s not always that easy.

“The problem is [getting consumers to make] that capital investment, and that’s where the government comes in, by providing an incentive to people to make that purchase,” he said.

President Obama also mentioned that though his administration has received some criticism for its commitment to environmental issues, this commitment is geared toward fixing the economy as well.

“A lot of times there’s an argument about economic growth versus environmental initiatives,” he said, “ … but energy efficiency is a perfect example of how this could be a win-win.”

He added, “This can help fill the void in a major industry that’s taken a big hit.”

The president noted that this could be a simple method, via the recent recovery act, to help the economy—and particularly the job market.

“The simple act of retrofitting buildings to make them more efficient is one of the fastest, easiest and cheapest things we can do to put Americans back to work,” he said. “As a result of a variety of investments made under recovery act we are at pace to upgrade homes of half a million Americans.”

He also encouraged consumers not to wait.

“We want Americans to do it soon,” said the president.

Prior to his speech, the president had sat down at a roundtable with five people and told them about his plans to create green jobs. In attendance was Stephon Burgess, 23, a Washington, D.C., resident who was unemployed but hired to work on weatherization; Gerald Palmer, president of Southland Insulators; John R Sheilds Jr, Sheetmetal Workers International Association; A. Tamasin Sterner, founder of Pure Energy, which designs energy-efficient systems; and Michael Thaman, chairman of Owens Corning, building materials company.

Other attendees of the group of 40 to whom he spoke included Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Reps Jim Moran (D-Va.), Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), and Alexandria Mayor William Euille.

CLICK HERE to view the full speech from President Obama.

CLICK HERE to watch the president’s speech.

Photo credit: The Associated Press.


  1. If we have Global warming, why do we need to caulk our windows.
    SO the Govt. is going to supply tax credits fro Americans to spend money they do not have?
    Get with it Obama!!

  2. This is exactly what our country needs. Investing our tax dollars to directly help home owners save energy while putting them back to work as well.

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