Weatherization Bill Heads to NY Gov's Desk

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A bill is headed for Governor Paterson's desk that would create a public-private weatherization fund. Advocates say it could be a game changer in the effort to make buildings more energy efficient. WNYC's Ilya Marritz has more.

REPORTER: The government would put in $112 million to start. Advocates hope the fund would lure private investors and grow to as much as $5 billion over time. The money would be used to pay for work like sealing windows and replacing old boilers. Investors would be repaid from the energy savings. A big supporter of the initiative is the Working Families Party. Executive Director Dan Cantor says it'll benefit more than the environment.

CANTOR: Labor will gain jobs, contractors and business people will gain work.

REPORTER: But critics question whether the program as it's set up could actually meet the goal of weatherizing one million buildings in five years. Governor Paterson has indicated he'll sign the measure. For WNYC, I'm Ilya Marritz.