"The White House’s plan to reduce energy waste from American homes is about to run into a stumbling block: a lack of skilled tradespeople who can actually do the work, industry veterans say.
Making the labor crunch even worse, the demand for energy efficiency services is set to skyrocket as homeowners start claiming their share of the $8.8 billion in rebates the climate bill provides for home upgrades. Those rebates will become available within the next few months, according to a Department of Energy spokeswoman.
The mismatch between supply and demand raises the threat that President Joe Biden’s grand vision of reducing energy usage for heating, cooling, and lighting homes and commercial buildings—responsible for 13% of the nation’s carbon emissions, according to the EPA—won’t be realized for at least a few years, as new training programs are designed and put into play.
“The size and capabilities of our workforce may be the single biggest obstacle to the infrastructure and climate bills,” said Nora Wang Esram, senior director for research at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy."