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Obama's home energy-efficiency pitch: insulation is 'sexy'

President Obama called for more incentives for home energy-efficiency upgrades Tuesday, as a way to boost job-creation and cut energy costs. Green retrofitting of homes is on the rise in the US.

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President Barack Obama speaks during a visit to Home Depot in Alexandria, Va., Tuesday.

Susan Walsh/AP

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President Obama on Tuesday pressed the importance of green home remodeling in the aisles of a Home Depot in Washington D.C. Tuesday as a way toward economic savings and energy independence.

"I am calling on Congress to provide new temporary incentives for Americans to make energy efficiency retrofit investments in their homes and we want them to do it soon," he said. Insulation is "sexy stuff," he said later, because it saves money.

The Obama administration is already banking on federal stimulus funding to shift consumer behavior toward energy-efficient homes. Green retrofitting of homes is on the rise in the US, researchers say, and Recovery Act incentives may be contributing to that trend.

The US home retrofit market will reach $35 billion by 2013, a 69 percent increase from 2008, according to SBI Energy, a market research company specializing in home energy. Specifically, the market for energy-efficient heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning retrofits is expected to grow from $3.1 billion in 2008 to $5.1 billion by 2013.

“We expect the market to continue to grow simply because energy efficiency will have the greatest impact at the least economic burden level to homeowners,” says Shelley Carr, publisher of SBI Energy reports.

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