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June 12, 1998

The Clinton Administration has unveiled a new initiative entitled Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing (PATH) which it believes could save consumers $11 billion a year in energy costs by 2010 and reduce annual carbon emissions by nearly 24 million tons.

PATH joins the federal government, industry, and state and local government in a coordinated strategy to identify promising housing technologies and move them to market. Each group will play a critical role in the partnership:

  • The federal partners, led by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Energy, commit to support research, facilitate removal of barriers to new technology, and provide technical assistance;
  • Industry partners commit to fund research, bring advanced products to market, share information, and work with government to demonstrate new technologies; and,
  • State and local government partners commit to streamline approval processes so new technologies are rapidly deployed, and devote resources to local pilot projects.

Over the next decade, PATH aims to cut energy use by 50 percent in new homes, and by 30 percent in 15 million existing homes, while reducing the monthly cost of new housing by 20 percent. Energy use at home currently accounts for about 20 percent of U.S. emissions of greenhouse gases. PATH is part of a comprehensive strategy to fight climate change through cost-effective steps that cut emissions while creating opportunities for economic growth.

To further promote this initiative, the President's FY 1999 budget proposes a five-year, $6.3 billion package of tax incentives and research investments. Included are $200 million in tax credits for the purchase of ultra-energy-efficient homes and $1.4 billion in tax credits for the purchase of energy-saving systems and appliances for buildings and homes. The budget also proposes $200 million to accelerate R&D for appliances and construction.

To encourage the use of existing technologies, PATH is creating a World Wide Web site where builders, suppliers and consumers can obtain information. The site is currently under construction, but is expected to be operational this month. The address will be http://www.pathnet.org.